Even hardened pavement-pounding, PB-chasing road racers can reap huge rewards from adding trails to their running regime. Niggling injuries? Flagging motivation? Or just a taste for adventure? Getting up, down and dirty is guaranteed to re-ignite your running mojo. Here’s why you should be hitting the trails:
Break free from your training log
You don’t have to be a slave to mileage and pace on the trail as the terrain will dictate how far and how fast you go in this more elemental running experience.
Beat injury and boost performance
The different surfaces and challenges posed to your muscles will develop your balance and agility, strength and power, honing you into a more complete runner off, and back on the road. That means faster times and less time on the physio’s table.
“The variety of terrain means foot strike has subtly different angles and gradients which can strengthen the foot and ankle,” says Andy Waling, a senior physiotherapist who works with the Salomon Trail Team and UK Athletics.
Get the feel-good factor
As well as the motivational tonic of variety to keep your running feeling fresh, you’ll get the clinically-proven extra stress-busting, mood-lifting effect of exercising in green space.
Give your body a break
Trail running is a literal as well as a metaphorical breath of fresh air, as the lack of traffic saves your hard-working lungs from the damaging effects of harmful pollutants. Plus, the softer ground underfoot gives your legs a break from hard-hitting asphalt and concrete. “A lot of force inevitably goes through a runner’s feet and legs, but the variety of surfaces involved in trail running and the fact that trails are generally softer means that legs don't take as much of a pounding,” says Waling.
Ready for traction?
The different demands of the trail mean you need the right footwear and the Salomon XR Mission shoe has been engineered to take you from door to trail and back again. Designed to cushion shock and improve heel-to-toe transition, they feature Salomon’s Contagrip™ on the outsole to deliver perfect grip on every type of terrain.
For more information on Salomon’s complete range of door to trail shoes, go to salomonrunning.com