Trail running is as much about the places it takes you as it is about the physical benefits of running in variable environments. It’s not only the rewarding views from the top of mountains that got trail runner Meg Mackenzie hooked, but they play a big part in how satisfying the sport has become to her, along with these alluring reasons to try trail.
1. It’s more free than the road
In road running, it’s all about focusing on time, pace, splits and all the measurable details. Trail running has a much more relaxed feel about it, but you can still work towards goals and races if you have that competitive streak. “The environment of trail running allows me to run freely,” says Meg. “Even when training for a race, the natural feel of it all doesn’t feel stressful.”
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2. You’ll get to explore
“Trail running has given me the opportunity to explore those places I would never have encountered without the confidence and curiosity the sport has given me,” says Meg. Our country has so many beautiful areas to traverse, like the forests of Knysna, lush Hogsback and the valleys of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.
3. There are views for days
Magnificent views are one of the rewards unique to trail running above most other sports. Picture this: you’re climbing up a tough ascent, but before you know it, you hit a flat top and before you sprawls deep, green valleys as far as the eye can see. “The views from the top of the mountains I discover are the moments I remember most about a run,” enthuses Meg.
4. You’ll get zen
Trail running can be a form of meditation. “Think about all those meditation apps with the sounds of birds, rivers or the ocean playing in the background,” says Meg. Wouldn’t you rather be there? “When I’m out running in nature, I get so many physical and mental benefits,” she says.