It’s 2018, you just got back into this running thing. While doom scrolling apps, you stumbled upon a race.
“Who the hell would do a sunset run in the mountains? Why the f— are headlamps recommended?”
This intrigued you and you quickly signed up for the 12km category with the only dirt experience you have is walking to your car at a dirt parking lot in UP Diliman.
That, my friends, is the start of my on and off relationship with trail running. It gave me a very different high that I've never felt when running on the roads and that led me to exploring the trails even more. For the past year or so and with my focus mainly on the marathon, I haven’t hit the trails as regularly which I plan to change this summer. On that note, if you are looking for reasons to try trail running this summer, here are my five reasons to do so.
Trails are more forgiving
I don’t know if this is common knowledge but let me say it again - the trails are softer than concrete and asphalt.
Pavement pounding for hours and days on end usually has its drawback. It’s cyclical and you are basically using the same muscles when you put one foot in front of the other. Each stride and foot landing are centered on the same points and absorbed by the same muscle groups. On the trails, it’s very much different! Having a variety of terrain and landscapes, we are forced to switch up our stride pattern and foot strike. This distributes the impact to more muscles and in turn, puts less pressure on the joints.
Walk breaks are welcome
Quick tip: please welcome walking when you first hit the trails.
I have to admit; this was an absolutely foreign concept to me at first, but I have grown to love it so much. As I've mentioned earlier, trails offer different terrains and most of the time it features uphills that really force you to walk. Don’t push yourself to run and embrace “power hiking”. This concept is one of the things you will never see at road running. After all, elites of the trail running world do it so why shouldn’t us hobby trail joggers do it?
Nature is always a great idea
Spending time with nature has so many benefits that are scientifically backed but let's be real, we don’t need science to tell us it’s great to spend time outside. Trail running is more about the act of being one with nature and not the result you see on your smartwatch. Ditch the metrics for once and go enjoy the view!
Side note: It’s just basically hiking but you run some parts. You don’t need a lot of stuff to bring to cover a bit of distance. Hydration vests with a few flasks are all you need for a 4-5 hour mini adventure.
It’s a full body workout
Hitting the trails is also a full body workout. As stated earlier, trail running distributes the impact to more muscles, right? Well these muscles are also the least used when it comes to road running. So, do not be surprised when you feel sore the next few days after a trail adventure. Your mind also gets a workout as well because unlike road running where you can zone out and push the pace, here, we are pushed to always be in the present. You can’t really zone out because you might find yourself kissing the dirt!
This is by far the best reason on this list. The trail running community is very warm and welcoming! Shop talk isn't about how fast you are, it’s about sharing experiences. It’s also a great way to meet new people! It can be friends of friends wanting to share the trails together or people you bump into saying “good morning”. Another way to immerse into the community is to join races outside Metro Manila. Far flung races require you to sleep a few nights at the race location and there you might meet people who’ll forever be in your trail journey.
So, these are my five reasons why but in reality, the only reason that actually matters is yours. Starting out is the hardest part because trails here in the Philippines are not so accessible, but good places to start are at Wawa where you have Mt. Parawagan in Rizal and the La Mesa eco Trail in Novaliches. There are also a few members of the runnr fam who frequent the trails so don’t be shy to DM one of them! You might also want to invite a few friends to join you since trail running is better shared. So, go out there and explore the trails!
Are you ready to hit the trails this summer? Then go visit your nearest runnr store or head over to runnr.com.ph, for your much-needed running essentials! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well as join our VIBER Community, to stay up-to-date with all the latest on anything and everything runnr, the leading running specialty store in the Philippines. Happy running!