A few weeks ago I went trail running for the first time. Very ambitious for a trail debute, I participated in the Trail Des Fantomes in La Roche, a well-known trail event among connoisseur, and above all: notorious for its altimeters.
The Trail des Fantômes is a running event in the Belgian Ardennes over unpaved paths with several steep climbs partly secured with ropes, a river crossing and many altimeters. The start and finish is in La Roche-en-Ardenne.
It took me 3 hours to accomplish the 21km distance. And never felt so satisfied when passing the finish line, let me explain why and let me introduce you to some of the benefits of trail running:
A lot of runners start trail running because the softer surfaces of trails don't cause as much pain in the joints than the asphalts. That means fewer injuries, also because trail running helps you strengthen the legs and builds definition in your calves and quads. Trust me , you will feel those hills the morning after.
Secondly, it is an optimal core workout aswel: trails have various different surfaces, soft, hard, rocky, and obstacles to pass, they have changes in elevation, sharp bends and turns, which require you to engage your core muscles for stability.
So your overall physique is improving and even more: research shows that running on trails can burn 10% more calories than running on roads. That, combined with the following mental benefits, makes for a stronger, healthier & happier you.
Read also: Ways to love and embrace your body.
Although trail running is physically challenging, it is mentally relaxing. The escape-factor which you have during an 'ordinary' road run, is multiplied because of the extra dimension of the natural environment. You need to be present in the moment (otherwise you will fall over a tree - no joke).
The connection you'll automatically feel with the universe, makes you switch of your stress thinking. Last but not least, the trail experience brings a feeling of freedom and being alive to a whole other level than we are used to from road running.
So, hit those trails! You'll feel more energized & revitalized, than fatigued. Take our word for it.