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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)