Trail Running - I love it :) : Hi All I was... - Couch to 5K

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Trail Running - I love it :)

paul2014 profile image

Hi All

I was looking to do my first strength run today so I headed of-road for a short trail run in order to find a more hilly route to work my legs a little bit harder (distance/time weren't important today).

The local route I choose wasn't as hilly as I was hoping for but I noted a couple of fairly steep sections just off the main track that I'm hoping to utilise on my next strength run. They can easily be incorporated into a circular addition to the main run going up and down the steep bits a few times to work the legs/lungs etc.

I think I'm falling in love with trail/off-road running. It was pouring down with rain (as you can see from the photo above), the track was up and down, winding, twisting single-track, it was that narrow in places I couldn't put one foot next to the other. There was mud and puddles everywhere, the track meandered in and out of tree cover following a local stream in places, tree roots, boulders, overgrown sections where I couldn't see the track beneath my feet, it was fantastic and I loved every minute of it :)

There was no chance of getting bored on this run as I needed to be switched on all the time. I had to constantly watch where I was putting my feet, fighting against the slippery mud in order to keep my balance. It's as if it wasn't just my body that got a good workout but my mind too. I felt exhilarated, challenged, alive and I'm still on a high now writing this :) Distance and speed didn't even enter my mind, it was purely fun and enjoyable and I loved it.

Can you tell I enjoyed this run ;)

18 Replies
Ullyrunner profile image

Wow Paul, sounds as if you loved it. One of the unexpected joys of this running is to get out there in the countryside and just feel free and alive! Great stuff!

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to Ullyrunner

I did and I agree, just getting out there and enjoying your run is very important. I really did enjoy it today :)

swanscot profile image

Trail running is the best! For me, road running is just training for when I go off-road (and training for races too!), but running in the forest, or along tracks and paths on heather-clad hillsides is the best. Manoeuvering around (or through) tree roots, muddy puddles, overgrown paths, flooded tracks, burns hanging low branches and slopes are what our legs are made for! :-)

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to swanscot

I totally agree (but only just finding that out :) ). Compared to running on the road/pavement it's a different world. It's just so exciting and demanding and there's so much going on around you that the time just seemed to fly (unlike me but that wasn't the idea today).

I've already found a local trail running club, Tees Trail Races and I'm contemplating entering one in a week or two. They are all 5K off-road runs. Sounds perfect :)

IannodaTruffe profile image

Off road is just better!

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

I think that sums it up nicely ;)

I love running off road too. I don't really run on actual roads at all, other than occasional runs back from the gym or to get to nearby hills, but most of my 'easy running' is on an old towpath which is very flat so counts as road in my book. I recently took to running on trails in the woods though, usually with the dog, and it is a whole different experience. As you say, mud, slopes, puddles, tree roots, etc make for a much more varied and interesting and above all FUN running experience. I have found I am so busy concentrating on where my feet are going in the more technical bits that I don't notice breathing etc and it all just comes together very naturally. I spend more time laughing with exhilaration than gasping for breath.

I am always very envious when I watch videos of Tony Krupicka and Jenn Shelton and all those American ultrarunners training on endless miles of trails in Oregon or California or wherever, but the Mendips will just have to be the next best thing for now.

paul2014 profile image

You're right, it is a different experience and I couldn't believe how much so until after today's run. And I also agree about being 'distracted' on the more technical sections and when you do manage to get a few seconds without having to concentrate too much, you can look up and take in the beautiful surroundings. Certainly beats dodging cars and inhaling exhaust fumes ;)

Bazza1234 profile image

OOH! Mud! Haven't seen that stuff for a long time. Wouldn' t run in it though. I did a 5k trail run yesterday morning - clear blue skies just after dawn - but only 2C which made it a bit hard to breathe. Lots of long dry grass alongside the track so kept a good eye out for snakes - but they would all be hibernating now

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to Bazza1234

Running in mud is great fun :)

grannyjudes profile image

It does show a bit Paul !!! :), a brilliant post

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to grannyjudes

Lol. Thanks :)

grannyjudes profile image

it shows a bit Paul :) fantastic post

ju-ju- profile image

Fabulous...I love it too, it really is exhilarating...makes you feel alive...great pic :)

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to ju-ju-

Thanks, JJ :) It really is exhilarating and it came as a bit of a surprise just how enjoyable it was running off road :)

paul2014 profile image

Thanks, KK :) They are indeed :)

Ooooo... mud AND hills AND rain AND running.... nirvana! Great shot Paul... sounds an awesome run... more of that rain though please! :)

paul2014 profile image
paul2014Graduate in reply to

Lol, thanks Aussie :) It's a great combination ;) As for the rain, I'm due out Monday night for a long run so I'll see if I can manage a rain dance whilst running ;)

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