Trail Running: Pros and Cons

A few days a week Tango and I go over to Seneca Park to run the short Wilderness Trail loop. We enjoy it and there’s such a difference running trails instead of paved streets/sidewalks. Here are my pros and cons of trail running:
  • Bonding time with Tango! He knows as soon as I put my running clothes on and grab my canteen that we’re going to this loop. He’s pumped and doing jumping 360s in the living room until I’ve got my ass out the door.
  • Consistency and an efficient movement break. This loop is only 2.2 miles and is 5 minutes from my house. We can go, run, and be back within 30 minutes so even on the busiest days, I can fit it in. If I’m not pressed for time I can do multiple loops.
  • Running on dirt and grass is way easier on my joints than concrete/asphalt! If you run frequently on hard pavement, your joints will start to feel it. If you’re training for races that you already know will be held on pavement, spend your training runs on the dirt or grass! You’ll go easy on your joints, plus you’ll train your ankles to take on forces from all directions from the uneven terrain.
  • Additionally, trails offer more to my running experience than running on pavement. First, I have to pay attention so I don’t bite it. There are level changes, there are small rocks and logsĀ I have to jump over, I have to dodge tree limbs and roots, etc. The best thing though is that I pay less attention to how long/how far I’m running (’cause I don’t really like running more than 20 or 30 minutes) and more attention to the trail itself. It’s a bit more fun, plus I get the added coordination, agility, and ankle stability benefits. Multitasking!
  • We can go over around 8 or 9am when nobody else is on the trail. We have the whole thing to ourselves, Tang gets to run amok off-leash, and I can blast Pandora on my phone as loud as I want with whatever music I feel like running to… (hey, sometimes it’s a country music kind of day and I don’t want to wear my headphones).
  • The downside to being one of the first peeps on the trail: Clearing out all the spider webs across the trail… WITH MY FACE.
  • Today’s count: 14 spider webs. Awesome.
  • Linking back to the last “con” above: being alone so that nobody can see me freak the hell out every single time that happens… Glad Game.
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