The OVERALL response generated was "I wish I had started running trails so much sooner..."
There were several reasons why but the majority stated:
- it was easier on their body
- they suffered less injuries
I would agree with those comments with this side note. I twist my ankle a bit more, I have taken a few more crash landings and black flies are a real blood sucker in August.
This does not compare to my marathon training of IT Band issues, Piriformis injuries, achy runner knees, Plantar Fasciitis or shin splints. I have had bouts of all of these over the years.
Road running HURTS me way more. But it is invigorating to run at a faster clip.
Some other differences for me....
"I would be prime minister or the moon, than running another marathon. I have been really lucky, I didn't have any toenails fall off or anything disgusting like that. I still have 3 nipples." Ryan Reynolds
- I live in the country, we do not have a lot sidewalks, I run mostly on the shoulder of the road. I have been flipped off, almost hit, dogs chase me into the roads, A dog actually got hit one summer chasing after me unto Grange hall road and sun burnt. BUT...I have been cheered on, honked at and even given water due to the fact friends of mine have seen me running down the road.
- I am able to run a faster more consistent pace on the roads. Pace is more manageable.
- Road running doesn't protect you from the elements as well. If it is 80' and sunny you are baking out there without relief and praying for a little cloud to reign mercy on you.
- There is always an adventure. I have seen deer, fox, skunks, snakes, dogs and weirdos. Weirdos that don't include those that I am running with! We have climbed over trees, trudged through puddles ran through the night and shenanigans that stay in the woods.
- I don't have to look for a bathroom if I am running in the woods..I just need to find a bush!
- Trail running lets me WALK the HILLS as opposed to road running where I have to barrel up them.
- Trail running teaches you to run EFFORT LEVEL. Road Running you are running more by pace. It is always funny to watch a road runner hit the trails for the first time and just about kill themselves trying to maintain their average pace through roots, switchbacks hills sand and other woodsy factors.
- Trail running I get to run with my hydration pack, this frees up my hands. The hydration packs stores all my goodies too. My phone, Kleenex, water, food, ect..
- I run better fueling with REAL FOOD. I prefer running trails because I can train with trail mix, cheese sticks, Honey Stinger Waffles and not eat in a hurry sucking down a GU or choking back chomps.
- Trail running strengthens my overall body not zoning in on a specific section of muscles. The hills, roots, turns, switchbacks keep me more agile, aware and actively moving different muscles.
- The trails offer more protection from the elements. Less windy, less sunny, the temps in the winter often feel better and the temps in the summer are usually cooler. I have run through thunderstorms in the woods and "felt" safer.
- There is something FUN about getting dirty on the trails. It is always fun to see your dirt lines when you take your socks off!
- Trails running is for me humbling. It allows me to embrace Gods beauty. The sounds, the smells, a little flower creeping through the dirt in the early spring. I am always in AWE of nature. The trails are not polluted by all the noise and hustle and bustle of everyday life. Running trails are like Stolen Moments. They are my moments that are special to me.
For me, when I am training a marathon I am focusing more on getting my LSD run in properly. I am more intentional in my running.
Training for trail races I am more easy going.
I am still particular about my diet. I enjoy sweets but keep them in moderation. Like the box of truffles Lacey bought me are sitting by my bed but out of the 6 truffles I still have 3 left and I am VERY choosy when I indulge.
I am not a drinker so I don't drink and train. I have watched runners make this mistake and really struggle on their long runs.
Running trails I find I struggle keeping weight on. I will not EAT just ANYTHING to keep my weight on. You are what you eat. Food is fuel, it helps you recover.
I still do core work and stretch and roll to prevent injury.
Mondays 18 miler on the trails felt great, until it was time to go to bed! My poor legs twitched and ached.
I took Tuesday off other then run around chasing my XC kids at their first meet.
And even today to prepare myself for a strong run tomorrow I ran:
WHERE: Sorenson park trails. EASY trails.
DISTANCE: 6 miles, 2 loops
EVENING: XC kids, 2.5miles.
Finished off with lunges and squats
Total Miles: 8.5
DINNER: Wild Caught Sockey Salmon, mashed sweet potatoes and Summer Salad.
Recipe to Salad HERE
Recipe to Salad HERE
TRAIL runner or Road Runner? Where do you like to play?