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Trail Running for Beginners: 11 Reasons to Give It a Try

No matter how much we love running, sticking to our usual routes can start to feel a bit monotonous after a while. Many runners find themselves curious about trail running, but often too uncertain to give it a try.

Today, Nina, from is sharing 8 motivating reasons to give trail running a try, along with a few exercises to complete to help get in shape for your first trail race.

Check out everything you need to know about trail running below!

If you are a complete stranger in the world of trail running, this discipline might seem like a whole lot of mess to you. However, if you are tired of road running and you want to make your daily fitness routine more fun, exercising in a non-urban environment might be exactly what you need.

Yes, you might get your shoes muddy and your clothes dirty, but experiencing new things, reconnecting with nature and maybe even making new friends along the way is well worth it.

Trail running motivation for beginners - 11 reasons to try trail running.

Trail Running Motivation: 11 Reasons to Give it a Try

If you are still not convinced that trail running is for you, here are several things you will miss out on if you choose to stick to your same old routine. 

You will get to combine running with hiking and walking

Yes, that is correct, with trail running you won’t exactly have to run the whole time. In fact, on the uphills, it is much better to walk and save your energy. When it comes to steep hills, hiking is often faster than running, so don’t be afraid to mix things up.

Trail running for beginners: motivation to get started and exercises to stay strong before your first trail race.

You will get to wear a cool hat

Apart from your regular gear, you will get to wear a cool hat that will not only keep you protected from sun and rain but will also look great on your photos.

If you fall in love with trail running, you should also consider investing in a pair of quality socks. It can be tricky to shop for socks for trail running, but if you click here you will find all the info you need.

You will activate all your muscles

Trail running is a great form of exercise because compared to regular running, it works a much wider range of muscle groups. It doesn’t activate just muscles in your legs but also stabilizes those in your core, feet, and ankles.

Related: 8 Ankle Strengthening Exercises for Optimal Stability

This all happens due to mixing hardpack trails with mud and hills. If you wish to improve your balance and your overall running power on all types of terrain, trail running is the best workout out there.

Another benefit of this activity is a reduced risk of injury. Instead of hitting the same muscles with the same foot strike over and over again, you will spread the impact over a wider range of muscles, putting less pressure on individual muscles and joints. Therefore, you will minimize the risk of injury.

You will discover new places

When you are running on a treadmill at the gym or always opting for the same route around your block, you are forced to look at the things you’ve seen a thousand times before. Where is the fun in that?

With trail running you will get to discover new places, find hidden gems, go on an adventure every time you work out, and see beautiful places you otherwise wouldn’t see.

Running up and down the same old streets can get rather dull, so why don’t you change the scenery and get lost in a muddy forest or run up a hill? You can discover a new trail every day and experience different smells and terrain with every mile.

You can eat delicious food

We can all agree that sucking those energy gels can never compete with eating real food. Well, during trail races you can find so many delicious treats at aid stations, such as pretzels, watermelon slices, potatoes, and chocolates.

If you sign up for ultras, you will be able to even enjoy quesadillas, avocados, and bacon. Most runners often enjoy a post-race beer, which is definitely not a bad way to end your day.

Related: How to Fuel a Long Run | 6 Tips for Eating During a Run

You will get some fresh air

Although running is supposed to be healthy, how good can it be for you when you are constantly breathing in combustion fumes from every passing car? With trail running you will be able to break free of the city pollution and do your respiratory system a favor.

You will get used to ‘weird’ things

Dressing up in funny costumes to cheer on your friends, running with a backpack on your back and peeing behind a bush are things that might seem weird to you right now, but once you become a trail runner they will become a normal part of your life. 

You will meet amazing people

Trail runners are really a special type of community. They will welcome you with arms wide open and help you get used to this new exercise routine. Therefore, find a run crew near you and meet some really amazing people. 

You will have hilarious stories to share

As a runner, you are probably used to the blisters and black toenails, but trail running comes with a whole new level of messiness. It involves dirty socks, ankle-deep mud, mushed treats in your backpack, running in the rain, and peeing in the weirdest places.

However, at the end of the day, you will have amazing stories to share with your friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

You will get to take incredible photos

Don’t leave your camera at home because who knows when you will run into interesting things on the trail. From funny-looking trees to adorable animals, there will be a lot of trail magic you will want to capture.

Trail running for beginners: motivation to get started and exercises to stay strong before your first trail race.

Road running will become boring

After you have fully experienced all the charms of trail running, it is quite possible that you will find road running rather boring. Maybe it is more convenient, but it cannot be compared with laughing in the forest with your new friends.

So you see, there are so many wonderful things trail running has to offer. Not only can this discipline boost your mental and physical health, but it can also help you meet new people, reconnect with your inner child (nothing makes you feel like a kid more than getting splattered with mud and screaming at the top of your lungs as you run downhill) and discover new and interesting places.

So, what are you waiting for? Put your shoes on and see what adventure lies ahead!

About the Author

Nina is a candy lovin’ coffee addict with a passion for working out. She is currently working as an editor in chief of and traveling through Europe.

Trail running motivation for beginners - 11 reasons to try trail running.
Trail running motivation for beginners - 11 reasons to try trail running.