Let’s be honest, I did not train properly and just fudged my way through the entire race. At one point, I even began hallucinating and seeing fairy’s flying in front of my eyes. I made it to the top of Traubuco Hill and vowed to never sign-up for another race. Three days later I signed up for the Ridgecrest 50K.
What is Trail Running?
Why is it Good for My Health?
I never knew there was such a huge difference between running on pavement (concrete) and running on a dirt trail, in Mother Nature. Running, walking and jogging out on a trail instead of pavement is appealing for so many reasons:
- Escape from the world:
Escaping into the woods, meadows, beaches, mountains, etc. allows me to connect with Mother Nature and creates an experience that a road run often cannot, especially with cars zooming past me every second and that is just annoying!
- The soft dirt on a trail or beach gives my body a break from the constant beating of the pavement.
The soft surface of the natural trails are going to make less of an impact on the body with each stride because once the foot becomes in contact with the pavement up to the ankles, knees, shins, and hips become dissipated because the ground is softer than pavement. “With knee pain, especially, and ITB syndrome, shin splints, and any other condition that is worsened with increased impact," says Dr. Levin, a sports medicine expert and Orthopedic Surgeon. "Trail running may be more beneficial for preventing most forms of tendinitis; however, there is some evidence to suggest that running on a harder surface would be less aggravating for Achilles tendinitis."
- Heals the Mind, Body & Soul
The benefits of trail running allow me to learn more about my body physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially on a spiritual level. When I lose myself on the trails, I begin to feel like I am in a Zen state-of-mind and I can de-stress from my usual hectic day. Spending time in nature is when I can connect spiritually with my spirit and the world around me. I remember to appreciate the natural beauty of our world and have a new found respect EVERY time I am on a run. Running on an uneven surface made my body stronger, overall, because I am using smaller muscles that are normally only used for balance, basically I am strengthening muscles that are not used when running on pavement. So I am getting a stronger and more effective workout overall.
I would suggest starting on a soft, flat, easy trail if you are a beginner and do not try to climb a mountain on your first run. I am still a beginner myself, even though I have been running since June 2013 but I started on an easy 3-mile loop called Cowles Mountain here in San Diego.
What are you waiting for? Get Moving!