Tired of running on the road or pavement? Thinking about turning onto the dirt path for some trail mileage but worried about it affecting your longer planned pavement runs? Don’t worry…the dirt is your friend 😉
We get this question a bunch from athletes training for races (ours and longer ones). A lot of triathlons take place on the road not only for the bike portion but for the run portion as well. Gravel triathlon is new and becoming really popular (be sure to check our events calendar for 2021 😉 ). So, how does trail running help with a run that takes place on the road or pavement? Will you hurt your performance on the road by running on dirt? Let’s peek at our favorite bullet points below.
- Trail running is an absolutely GREAT way to connect with nature and more natural surroundings. There’s less risk of a vehicle incident or getting stuck at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change.
- The uneven terrain of dirt trails can really build lower leg strength AND strength in your feet. This can help make you less prone to injuries during training and on race days.
- Speed often comes from strength. You’ll build and adapt muscles by running off-road which can help you run faster, longer and with less perceived effort.
- Mixing up a planned run (ie. some on road action and some off road action) can really give you a positive mental boost.
- Your four-legged friend will thank you. Dogs HATE running on pavement…but they love you so dang much, they endure it. A trail run mixed in is a great way for your furry pal to have a better training session too.
- Trail runners are a little crazy (no, not all of them) – but let’s face it, running 100 miles in one day is a challenge no matter what anyone says.
We hope these info bits are helpful in your decision to add in some off road mileage and mix up your usual pavement runs. Give it a try and let us know how it works out.