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6 reasons to become a trail runner

If you're looking for a change of scenery, trail running might be the perfect activity for you

With provincial parks and conservation areas opening up in Ontario this week and more provinces getting ready to follow suit, now is a great time to start trail running. Even if you don’t officially convert to the world of trail running, it’s always fun to get out and enjoy some off-road training every now and then. Just remember: everyone else is probably just as excited to get back on the trails, so they might be packed. Don’t let that deter you from getting out for some workouts, but just take care, be safe and be sure to practice social distancing whenever you approach another runner, walker or hiker.

Nicer weather

Not only are trails going to be open once again, but the weather is finally getting nice enough across the country to make you want to go for a nice outdoor workout (for those of you dealing with the polar vortex, don’t worry, it’s almost over). When the sunny weather comes your way, take the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and hit the trails.

RELATED: Training and goals for trail runners during COVID-19

New routes and experiences

You’ve been stuck inside for weeks, so the trails can offer you a much needed change of scenery. Skip that run around town on a route you’ve run dozens of times and explore some new paths in the woods.

Photo: Polar

No need for exclusivity

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Just because you give trail running a try doesn’t mean you have to devote yourself to it 100 per cent. You’re allowed to be a trail, road and track runner all at the same time, so you really have nothing to lose by trying out trail running.

RELATED: The Shakeout Podcast: Why trail running could be the perfect addition to your summer training

You can focus on effort

As a road or track runner, you’re probably obsessed with pace. A great thing about trail running is that it’s all based on feel. Trails are way too hilly to run a consistent pace, so you don’t ever have to go into a workout or race with a pace goal in mind. Instead, focus on your effort and don’t worry so much about the speed.

Improving as a runner

Even if you don’t enter races, training on trails will help you become faster on your preferred terrain. The up-down nature of trail running works your muscles a lot more than running on the road or track, so you’ll certainly notice a difference after adding trail workouts to your training schedule.

RELATED: How to trail run on the treadmill

You don’t know til you try

If you’ve never gone trail running before, or if it’s been a while, you should give it a shot. You might love it, after all, and it could become your newest obsession.