As I get back in to running, training and racing I’ve discovered there are things that had become commonplace which are now once more ridiculous. In a short series of posts I’m going to remind you, fellow runners, of the once unusual things you now happily do to yourself.
#2 – TRAIL RUNNING IS MUCH TOUGHER THAN ROAD
Yes, it’s more fun.
Yes, it is better for you, easier on the joints, better for fitness etc etc blah blah
But if, like me, you made the transition ages ago you’ll have forgotten how tough it was to begin with.
Once you’d got over the shock of hills, thousands of the buggers, you then had to learn to run again. I strongly suspect you started trail running looking like a cat on a hot tin roof, we all did. Tip-toeing your way from one safe footing to another, avoiding anything that looked rock like, mud like…in fact trail like! Only with time do you learn to glide over the terrain like a trail bossing ghost, worrying not about where your feet go because your titanium ankles and rugged rubber soles can cope with anything.
You might also have made the error of expectation. “I can do a parkrun in under 30 minutes again…get me to the hills!”. 3 miles is a lot longer when you’re negotiating quicksand, fallen trees and wild beasts. Coming away from a run disappointed because you were much slower than expected is a very real prospect for those new to trail running.
I know this because I have just become new to trail running again, and have been reminded of just how daunting it is when you take those first tentative steps in to the unknown.
If you’ve been there, and got through it, give yourself a pat on the back. If you think back to how terrifying it was that first time, you definitely deserve it.