Trails vs Roads, which do you prefer?

I’m pretty sure I may have mentioned it once or twice before but in case I didn’t, I have my very own personal running trail. It’s not huge or anything and it happens to be located in the middle of nowhere but none of that matters to me. What matters is that before MacGyver and I made the trail I didn’t really enjoy going out to our cabin because there wasn’t anywhere for me to run but now there is.

This is Dog Town Trail

This is Dog Town Trail, it’s very remote but if you look closely you may be able to see my cabin.

I’ve only had the chance to run on my trail, (Dog Town Trail) a couple of times and before that I could count on one hand the amount of times I had run on a trail and even those times were on trails much more ‘developed’ than my trail. What I’ve learned in those couple of times I’ve run on my trail is that trail running is hella different than road running and I really, really like it.

I don’t know all there is to know about trail running yet but based on all my road running, these are the differences I’ve noticed so far.

When running on the road or paved trails in my neighborhood, I have to look out for cars, other runners, bikers and dogs.  On the trail I’m mostly concerned with wild hogs, coyotes, water moccasins, and rattlesnakes and not necessarily in that order!

primitive running trail

I’ve seen at least 3 snakes in those trees. Fortunately only one of them was a rattlesnake and MacGyver shot it.

When I’m running on the road I check my Garmin to make sure it’s ready and has located the satellites. When running on my trail I make sure the battery in my headlamp is working, you know, so I can see the snakes.

morning on the running trail

This morning definitely called for a headlamp.

At home I usually run in matching running skirts and cute tank tops and either white or bright-colored shoes. On the trail I choose shorts and shirts that are already decorated with stains or mud and I have no idea what color my shoes are because both pairs I’ve used are covered in mud.

running shoes

Um, blue, maybe black?  And yes, that is mud on my leg.

At home I run around the puddles and try to avoid them. On my trail I usually have no choice but to carefully run through them.

Running in my neighborhood I am constantly working on my pacing and speed. Running on the trail, I can’t take my eyes of the trail for more than a second or I risk tripping on a briar patch or a rock.

trail tunning thickets

Can you see the briar patches and thickets? They’re there, I promise you.

When I run at home I can almost bank on what muscles will be sore and which areas will get the best workout. After running on my trail, I realize I have little muscles I had no idea existed, but most importantly, I feel like my calves are steel and I could crush walnuts with my butt cheeks.

In other words, I feel like I work more muscles and it definitely is a harder workout but I’m not sure I could handle trail running every day.  I love it when we are out at our property and I can definitely see myself doing more and more of it, just not ALL the time.

dog town

I’m a nature lover for life!

I don’t know if I’d say it’s a lot harder to run on the trail than on the road but I would say it’s very different and I am still in the learning process.

What do you prefer, road running or trail running?   (I like both for different reasons.)
If you have run on a trail before, was it well-developed or fairly primitive?  (In case you can’t tell Dog Town Trail is about as primitive as they come!)

16 thoughts on “Trails vs Roads, which do you prefer?

  1. I wish I liked running at all. I usually end up jogging in my neighborhood because the treadmill makes me crazy. With your tips I may venture on a few trails soon. #tbbloggers

    • You will love it Tia, I promise! I’ve been looking around for a few in the Tampa Bay Area and there is one that I ran before in Palm Harbor but it’s the only one I’ve found so far. I may just put together a list of some of my favorites after I do a little running/research on them 🙂 #tbbloggers

  2. I prefer trail running only because I don’t have to worry about cars and other distractions but the trail I run on is more of a bike path / rail trail. If I had to worry about the creatures like you do ( coyotes and snakes) I may be tempted to run else where!

    • I think I fear the cars and the idiots who sometimes drive them more than the snakes and coyotes, lol. In all seriousness though, there is something so peaceful about the trails….it’s just incredible.

  3. We have a few trails by our house – one being a bike trail, and it’s paved, so it’s really just like a street with no cars. Very nice! We also have a crushed stone trail which gets me out into nature, but there really aren’t any huge rocks, long grass or tree roots to trip over, so that’s a very nice feature. I tend to avoid the “primitive” trail near us because I fear tripping! I guess my answer is that I enjoy having several options! Your trail looks very nice! I’ve never seen any snakes in a tree before, but that would be quite interesting!!

    • They actually hang around the base of the trees but it can be quite intimidating first thing in the morning. Before we had an indoor toilet I used to have to take a shotgun with me to go to our little potty area. It sucked and after a few times I refused to go back to the cabin until we put a toilet inside the cabin. Thankfully the hubs likes having me around and so he did just that. 🙂

    • Wow, that trail is really nice and it does sort of look primitive like mine. I’m having a tough time staying away from mine as well but the 3 hour drive and lack of electricity and an indoor shower eventually wear me down when I’m out there.. 😉

  4. I seriously love your trail! Although I’d rather deal with the moose and bears we have here in Alaska than the crocs and snakes that you have! I’ve done some trail running and it’s definitely tougher with all the hills, rocks, and tree roots but I really do love being out in the woods so it totally balances out!

    • I’m totally jealous that you live in Alaska! I am addicted to all things Alaska probably because I’m a nature lover for life. Unfortunately for me if I had to be in snow for longer than a hot minute I might freeze up and die, literally.

  5. I lean towards road running as a preference but trails are a nice change of pace.

    As a clumsy person, trail running requires watching where I step.

    The trail I ran was a state park (Oleta).

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