Running indoors has its benefits, it gets you moving, especially in the wintertime. No need to embrace the harsh elements of the outdoors when you’ve got a treadmill or indoor track right? Wrong! Limiting yourself to the indoors for training, or even to suburbanized sidewalk running is dooming yourself for a short lived running life.
You need to see and feel the inspiration nature can give you if you just take the time to step out into the wilderness.
Here are some remedies to a few possible hindrances keeping you from the trails.
“bad ankles”: I have them, so I get it. Running on the trails is a higher chance of rolled ankles with rocks and roots, but it happens a lot less often than you might think. Your ankles do get stronger the more you go on trails, therefore leading to less rolled ankles.
Start on a mild trail, and if your ankles are sore, then that’s good!
It means that your stabilizing muscles and tendons were working hard and will be even more ready for next time. If you have serious ankle issues, tape your ankles by watching YouTube videos, or get a brace from a local drug store.
“I’m going to get lost”: unless you are in the real deal wilderness of Canada or something of the sorts, the chances of you getting lost and actually being in real danger is slim to none. But to ease your fears, there are a few things you can do. The more prepared the better if you are one who is paranoid. Stop by the park office for paper maps, turn on a gps trail map app, go on the parks website beforehand and get a feel for the trail. The information is out there, but you can always take my suggestion and just GO. Getting temporarily lost can feel exhilarating and adventurous, let alone distract you from the fact that you’re getting a ton of exercise!
“It’s just not convenient”: It most definitely takes time and effort to get out on the trail, and I understand your thinking if you get home from work and only have a little time before the sun goes down to get an outdoor workout in. To work it into your schedule, make it a weekend event that you can look forward to. Planning ahead makes it more likely to happen, and with the hilly terrain and new scenery, you’d be getting twice or three times the workout in the same time period than if you were to be jogging around your subdivision. Think about those kind of outcomes and you could instantly justify the extra travel time and efforts to get to new places. Oh, and don’t forget to soak it in! I have a blast taking pictures while on the trail,
I worry less about my time and pace since the terrain is so different, and it is a great opportunity to see wildlife, stunning plant life, and more.
If I missed a key reason that is keeping you from the trail, please comment on this post and I’d be happy to throw some possible solutions your way!