If you are a runner, you probably already prefer running on trails or roads. However, if you are new to the sport, you may not have even thought that there are differences between the two. You should familiarize yourself with these differences, however, as the main thing you need to purchase the right footwear for the terrain you are walking on is to ensure your feet are well protected, to improve your gait and body positioning, and around yours Reduce chances of injury.
As with most things, there are pros and cons to both types of runs, and we're going to look into today to help you make the right decision for you.
The benefits of trail running
As a runner, I absolutely love the trails so forgive me if I'm a little biased here. There is nothing better than leaving the hustle and bustle and the noise of the populated places behind and escaping into nature. But it's not just about escaping, although this side of things is absolutely fantastic for mental wellbeing as well, it's about slowing things down and paying much more attention to your surroundings and the way you run.
When you run on trails the terrain is much more challenging and therefore requires your utmost attention. Now you might be thinking that you have to wait a minute, which sounds a bit detrimental to me, and to some extent you're right, and we'll get into that a little more in a minute. However, the uneven ground, tree roots, mud, rocks, etc. all help to improve your balance, agility, and reaction time. Due to the varied terrain, trail running burns around ten percent more calories than road running.
Trail running is much more forgiving of grout too, as the ground you walk on is significantly softer than the concrete of streets and sidewalks. Surprisingly, despite the seemingly difficult terrain, trail running injuries from overuse and repetitive motion are much less likely because your footstroke is so different.
It is practically impossible to get bored on a trail run as the landscape changes forever and you are likely to encounter breathtaking views. Plus, if you envision yourself as the next big run fluencer to bring a GoPro or Osmo action camera, you can also capture blur-free action footage of your running adventures to share with your followers online. For more information on some of these kits, visit Omniviewtech.ca.
The cons of trail running
OK, the terrain of the trails may be more natural and softer, but of course if you are not used to this type of running there is a greater risk of injury. Most commonly, ankles are rolled or dropped over tree roots. If you are a road runner you may find it difficult to go slower, but you have to go slower because trail running is not about setting speed records in the country, it is about slow and mindful movements.
When this happens, it can be frustrating that you cannot reach your usual speeds, and you may also find that your stamina is not quite what you want. Trail running isn't necessarily more difficult than road racing, it's just different and it needs to be approached like it's a brand new sport, even if you've been road racing for years.
It is nice to go to the countryside and into the woods, but it can also feel unsafe at times when you are alone and your chances of getting lost are much higher than if you are walking around on the sidewalks of your city. You can go for a run with a friend or even join a local running group to build your confidence and learn new routes. When traveling alone, always make sure you are telling someone where you are going, have a fully charged phone with you, and are fully aware of your surroundings.
The benefits of road running
Road running is often a common starting point for beginners, and for good reason. it's so convenient. Most of us just have to open our front doors and be gone. It also generally feels a lot safer as it is a familiar area, there are usually a lot of people around, and you are far less likely to get lost than if you were walking across country.
While I'm not a huge fan of street racing, I love having good ol 'noise in other people's homes and gardens. It's great for inspiration and can be especially useful if you're planning a move and want to fully check out an area beforehand. SSBHG can also help here.
If you're a fan of quick stats and have a competitive streak, road running is for you as this is where you can find your PBs. The smoother, harder surface makes for faster times and you can cover the same distance much faster on the road than on the trails. Also, because the surface is smoother, it's very easy to turn yourself off and really focus on how your body moves, how you walk, how you walk, and how you perform all the other technical mechanisms of running movement.
The disadvantages of road running
While roads and sidewalks are likely to be easier to navigate, the man-made hard material they are made of has a much greater impact on your body, and your joints are much more likely to suffer as a result. Roads, and sometimes sidewalks, can also be sloping in their outer width, and this difficult fall creates an uneven step that can lead to injury over time.
Overuse and repetitive motion injuries are much more common when running on the street because your foot hits pretty much the same every time you land. This can also be harder for your feet, and you may find yourself developing blisters and calluses. While you need to make sure you have the right footwear, Spectrum Health Care can help clear this up.
For me personally, the biggest downside to running on the road is crossing busy roads, vehicles, and human traffic. People can get in your way and you can get in other people's way, which can be stressful at times and not something you really want from a run. The pounding of the sidewalks can also get a little repetitive and boring after a while.
What will you choose
First, who said you had to choose between the two? In fact, it has been proven to be very beneficial to mix it up and do both as it helps activate all muscle groups and makes you a much stronger and more versatile runner. Regardless of whether you prefer one or the other, it pays to step out of your comfort zone every now and then and try the other type. You never know that you might really love it.