Summer Trail Running
By Breanne Bakan
As the days get longer and warmer, you might get tired of your daily pavement pounding runs. Some days it can be hard to get out the door when you’re faced with the monotony of your usual running routes. f you’re looking to enhance your daily run, trail running is a great way to give your body a break by skipping the hard surfaces. It is also excellent at building muscular strength as your legs are faced with uneven surfaces, varying elevations, and rougher terrain.
Not convinced yet? Here are some reasons you should ditch the roads and take up the trails.
Ohio is prime trail running territory. Lucky for us, our great state provides an abundance of beautiful trail running locations. With 75 state parks, 1 national park, and 1 national forest, you’re almost guaranteed to have a trail near you waiting to be explored. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is my favorite; go find yours.
Trail running is peaceful. If you’re on a trail in the woods, there probably aren’t cars rushing past you. Depending on how popular the trail is, you might not even encounter other people. This is a great opportunity to reflect and gain some peace of mind while taking in the beautiful views around you.
Trail running is good for your body. When you run on pavement or concrete, the hard surface means that the force of your steps can’t disperse very much. The shock of the impact is sent right back into your body which can be hard on your bones and joints. Softer surfaces such as dirt or grass absorb more of this impact, creating less of a shock to your body.
Ohio has tons of trail races. If you’re tired of your normal racing schedule, register for a trail race to shake things up. Trail race distances range from 5k to 50k and everything in between, meaning that almost anyone can find a distance suitable for themselves. If you aren’t sure of any trail races near you, just check out the website runningintheusa.com to find an extensive list of all the trail races in Ohio.
Trail running lets you appreciate nature. The outdoors is pretty great, and trail running lets you experience that firsthand. When it’s just you and the trail, you can immerse yourself and experience all that Mother Nature has to offer.
This summer I encourage you to start exploring your state. Take a couple friends, your dog, or go solo and find the trails nearest you. As long as you’re on a marked trail, you’re doing it right. So, hit the trails and get your shoes a little dirty!
Summer Trail Running