Running on trails is perceived as particularly close to nature. Rough terrain and obstacles train not only physical endurance but also the runner's coordination and concentration skills. As the whole body has to be stabilised, more muscle groups are used than when running on the road.
Typical surfaces of the running tracks are gravel, forest and meadow paths through forests or parks, single trails, stone and scree paths in alpine terrain, trim-yourself paths, fin tracks or sand.
Why trail running?
Marked trails offer a runner a safe route, but also limit his or her freedom. Running off the beaten track allows the athlete to improvise. On unpaved paths and trails through forests and meadows, over hills and valleys, the possibilities of trail running are many and varied.
Not knowing which path to take frees the mind from stressful thoughts and helps to relax. In addition, trail runners train on the winding paths in many different ways. In addition to endurance, which is of particular interest to long-distance runners, trail running also involves the entire musculoskeletal system. The different surfaces act as a running school. Every step strengthens coordination and reaction. Due to the different ground conditions, the body also learns new movement sequences, which minimizes the risk of injury.
Since 2022 there is a cooperation between IAU, WA, iTRA and WMRA with regards to trail and mountain running and year 2022 was the first time when combined championships took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was 1st World Mountain and Trail Running Championships. The 2nd edition will take place in Austria from June 6th till 10th.