Running on roads is fairly simple. I emphasize fairly because we all know that simply getting out the front door for a run can be tough. But once you’re out there, the possibilities for running routes are limitless. Besides a bit of curb-hopping, roads allow the brain to run on auto-pilot. But while many of us have found comfort on asphalt, running on trails can challenge you in ways you never thought possible.
I’ll never forget my first trail half marathon. I was fresh off my first road marathon finish, and with all the confidence of the “marathon runner” title under my belt, I signed up for a race on some local mountain biking trails.
I was bottle-necked on single track at the beginning of the race, and the trail switch-backed up steep, rocky hills. A few brave souls would attempt to pass others by hurdling logs and bushes, but the majority of us were just trying to stay upright. For this first timer – It. Was. HARD. Turns out, running on trails is a completely different sport from road running or hiking. So here are some tips to mastering the elusive trail run:
What used to be a love of roads for me, is now a deep desire to hit the trails as often as possible. The challenge of running up steep single track, or winding through a forest with a thick canopy of branches overhead gives me something to dream about while I’m at work sitting in front of the computer every day. Exploring new places while running on trails can open a whole new world, and instill a desire to challenge your body in ways you never thought possible. I’m a convert – and I guarantee you will be too.
Written by: Amy Clark
Amy is a runner, writer, mama of twins and founder of the website, RunningBend.com. Living (and running) in Bend for over 14 years, she takes advantage of all the trails Central Oregon has to offer.