8 reasons why I love trail running

Yesterday morning I couldn’t wait any longer and threw on my trainers and raced down to the nearest off-road track from my house.  Going without running for a whole week gave me mega itchy feet and I was eager to get back out there again!

Of course, it had to be trail.  If anything, running the Dusk ’til Dawn ultra last weekend has increased my love of trail.  Here’s the top reasons why I love it so much…iLoveTrail

1) Pace doesn’t matter.


A 15minute mile…in a road race?!  You normally run 8minute miles?!  What happened?!  A 15minute mile…in a trail race.  Great!

2) Obstacles/hills make it interesting.



The races I’ve found most boring are entirely flat courses either on a loop or with nothing but road in sight.  (Eg; Silverstone half marathon)

3) Gates/styles break up the run.


They give you an excuse to grab a ‘breather’ on route!

4) You’re not ‘in view’ all the time.

You don’t have to ‘look like a runner’ all of the time.  People are not gliding past in cars pointing at you out of the window as sweat flies from your face and you have mud splashes up to your eyelids!

5) Nice soft ground. (Easier on the joints)

Running constantly on the road is bad for your joints – all the constant pounding on the hard ground.  They recommend that even if you are a road runner you complete some of your runs off-road to be kinder to your joints.


6) It keeps me on my toes.

Because the ground is forever changing, I need to be constantly alert when running out on the trail.  A slight lack in concentration could result in me tripping over a tree root and going tumbling down the side of a hill!

7) There’s always so much to see.


Who runs on a treadmill or alongside a dual carriageway by choice?!

8) You can play in mud, as an adult.


…and get away with it!

10 thoughts on “8 reasons why I love trail running

  1. Fab post! I agree getting off the roads is great, but I would be nervous going on a trail at night. Near me the dark areas at night feel very unsafe so I stick to roads as I feel safer near cars.
    But my favourite races have been muddy off road ones- and you are right the pace does not matter it is just more about the fun and being out in the fresh air.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Cute clothes!My Profile

    1. It’s definitely all about the fun!
      I headed out for another train night run last night. I wouldn’t feel safe running it on my own but we were a group of 8 runners from club and it was even more fun running it in the dark!

  2. I love this post, some great reasons for me to finally hit the trails.
    I’ve not really done any trail running but I’m really excited to try it out properly, also scared or possibly terrified! I’m mainly worried as I’ll be on my own and don’t want to end up in a ditch somewhere dark, cold and alone and eaten by local wildlife 😉 Although plus side is they wouldn’t need another meal for a while!
    emskiruns recently posted…Thankful Project – A Talent I HaveMy Profile

    1. Yes, do it! I was nervous to begin with, but so far (touch wood!) I haven’t ended up in a ditch, or nibbled on by the local wildlife!
      See if a friend will join you to begin with? Even a non-running friend, as a lot of it is all about keeping moving, navigating and overcoming obstacles like ploughed fields and stiles. Continuous running is pretty much impossible!

  3. You’ve basically summed up all the reasons why I really enjoy trail running too!

    I think I’m still a road runner at heart though. I love a mix of the two – if I run too many trail races then I start itching to get back out on the road and push for time, since I’m very much a numbers girl and find the prospect of a PR too tempting to resist. I also tend to compare times on the basis of pure time only, without taking terrain into account (I know that’s irrational, but irrational should be my middle name), so for example when I ran a 3:37 on trail recently, someone else ran a 3:28 for their first ever marathon and I felt like an absolutely useless runner when I read that. Sometimes it’s nice to zone out on the road a bit too, which you can’t really do on a trail if you’re like me and prone to falling over (clumsy, in other words).

    I suppose a huge part of running for me is based on trying to push for speed, and I have certain splits which I just constantly strive for…if I ever see them during a race I know it will be the best moment of my life. Roads are definitely harder on your body though (particularly with my weird leg issues), so it’s definitely important to have some trail racing in my life…even if it’s just to take the pressure (mental and on my joints) off for a few races.

    Jess recently posted…Winter WoesMy Profile

    1. Yes, I like the hard evidence that I am improving at my running, which comes from the times at road running, but I also love the relaxed fun atmosphere of trail.
      Zoning out in trail is impossible! It’s nice to not really think about anything and just watch where you are placing your feet though…no cars or people to distract.

  4. My favourite race this year so far was my Cheddar Gorge half marathon. I LOVED it. Up and down hills, over stiles, through mud. Brilliant. We went over road once and that was to cross a road to get to the field the other side. I do love road races but there’s something special about the trail :)

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