man jogging alone

Should You Take Road Running or Trail Running?

Many people would pass the opportunity to run, even if their friends asked them to come. But if you are after a healthier body, staying active by running regularly can be your go-to choice. You don’t even need to own a treadmill or go to the gym just to start running.

Studies have shown again and again how beneficial running is for the mind and body. Experts say even at least five to ten minutes of running each day can already reduce one’s risk of death caused by cardiovascular diseases. But if a little running is already good, which not push yourself to stay more active by running more miles each day?

When it comes to running, you have the option to choose road running or trail running. But what’s the difference and which one fits you the best?

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Road Running

Road running refers to running on man-made surfaces like bridges, sidewalks, established roads. If you live in large cities or highly urbanized areas, you can go for road running instead. This is since you already have more access to well-maintained roads and pavements.

Most people living in cities want to be able to head out the door and run around the block. Road running proves to be a convenient way to get your daily dose of exercise. You don’t need to drive miles after miles just to reach the nearest trail.

You can indulge in running on your own or with a group. This means you get to run in peace if you want to be left alone. Once you’re up for socializing, you can run with a friend or join the group of people running on your next run.

It is true that running on roads is easier than on trails. But there can be times when you will encounter potholes or people working on manhole linings. You should always pay attention to where you are going to avoid putting yourself at risk for injury.

Road running also tends to be monotonous. Your feet are on autopilot, and you can easily get bored of running the same environment over and over again. You will need to change your route or find other places to run to ease your boredom and avoid burn out.

woman jogging at the park

Trail Running Pros and Cons

Trail running, on the other hand, is running on trails. Since you are running softer and natural surfaces, you are more aware of your surroundings. You can enjoy being in nature but will have to watch out for muddy puddles, roots, branches, rocks, and even insects and animals.

You can develop good balance and a strong core the longer you go for trail runs. Your speed may not be as fast as when running in pavements, but the uneven terrain and unpredictable surface can challenge you physically and mentally. But then, if you prefer running with a group, then trail running is not your best option.

It can be tricky to run in a group as trails tend to be narrow. Crowding a trail requires full engagement which means you will be better off running with just a running buddy or two. You will need to plan your run as you won’t find any public facilities to drink or use the bathroom.

If you live in the city, chances are you only have limited options where you can go trail running. You might need to visit the nearest National Park or State Park to run in nature. This means you will need to invest time in traveling and plan every time you go out for a run.

Should You Pick Trail Running or Road Running?

This all depends on what is convenient for you and what your body can handle. If you want convenience and would rather run around your neighborhood or your city, then go for road running. You encounter many other runners on the road, get to know your neighborhood better, and go for a run whenever you want.

Since you are running on hard surfaces, this puts extra strain on your joints. On the other hand, trail running offers natural obstacles that prove to be an effective and challenging workout. These are the reasons why road runners often have a leaner physique and trail runners tend to pack more muscles while.

Note that there is a need to find the right running shoes depending on the terrain you will take. Road runners will need shows with support features and shock absorption technology. For trail runners, you need a flexible running shoe that can adapt to varying terrains.

Running helps you stay active, improve your health, boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. You have the option to take road running or trail running, or both. You just need to choose which one you can insert in your schedule so you can start running for better health.

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