5 Great Reasons to try Trail Running

July 04, 2023

Trail running is becoming increasingly popular, and if you are considering giving it a try, here are 5 reasons that will get you out and on your way. 

  1. You will visit some beautiful, interesting places and take you out into nature which can instantly reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing. Nothing helps you to focus on the present like running along a new trail. Paying attention to the terrain under foot, the uneven surface, the surrounding landscape and the often changeable weather, you can escape the pressures of everyday life.
  2. The varied terrain and incline will help you build balance, strength and resilience as a runner. Many trail routes will bring you to the uplands, which will help you to improve your cardiovascular fitness, endurance and strengthen your legs, feet and joints. Uneven terrain will challenge your balance and proprioception as you work to stabilise while moving across rocks, grass, mud, forest path and changing slopes. This can have big benefits for injury prevention and performance.
  3. You will make new friends who also enjoy spending time outdoors. This could be one of the best parts of trail running. When you are out together, running, chatting, sharing an adventure and admiring the views it’s easy to connect with others. There is a great sense of teamwork and achievement when you reach a summit or explore a new route together.
  4. Feeling accomplished and confident when you reach a new summit. Unlike road running, where the emphasis is on a time or measured distance, running hills and trails has something extra special. Reaching a new mountain top, ascending and descending across open mountains, traversing technical trails or following a trail with map and compass, has rewards that can’t be measured.
  5. A change of scenery can be just what you need if you are in a running slump or feeling uninspired by your training. I think we’ve all been there after running mostly on roads or local routes for some time. You can’t beat the convenience of going out for a local run, but it can feel monotonous at times. Starting to add some hills or trail runs can freshen up your routine and training, and give you something to look forward to when motivation feels lacking.

Maggie is a run leader with She Summits Trail Running, Ireland's only trail running company that caters exclusively for women. 

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