Every Tried Trail Running??
Posted By: Bart Breithaupt on 03/12/2011
I just took a client to run the mountain bike trails just north of the Lake Hefner dam. I think he enjoyed it...AFTER it was all over! Kidding aside, it is so much different than most people are accustomed to and that's a big reason you should consider doing it. If you run regularly and are like most people, you run a specific distance or time on the road or sidewalk. This is great for convenience, time-keeping and general safety. Where it is not-so-great is in terms of monotony, lack of scenery, the "hardness" of the running surface, and lack of varied muscular challenges. Put plainly, running through the forest on these (and most mountain bike trails) trails has these advantages:
1. The trail is usually hard to medium packed dirt which absorbs the weight of your body much better than pavement. This equates to less stress to your entire skeletal system and a "softer" ride.
2. The trail is not 100% level, straight, smooth or otherwise free of obstacles. This means that the small muscles and ligament and tendons surrounding the ankle, knee and hip joints get close to a 360 degree workout that straight, level pavement can not provide. There are tons of twists and turns, ups and downs and tree roots to step over and tree branches to duck from. This means your brain...that's right...your brain is much more engaged in this style of run.
3. It's actually pretty down there in those trails. Once you duck into the trail system, you enter a thick canopy and run over around and across creeks, bridges and have a decent chance of seeing deer, hawks and other wildlife.
So whether you are training for a race, just taking up running or simply looking for a great place to walk/hike, check out a mountain bike trail. It might just be the break you (and your body) are looking for.
Click on the link for more information and a map...