As I have been icing, epsom salting and doing 100 calf raises a day, all I can think about it 5peaks and running on soft, muddy trails. My winter training season which was just starting to find it’s stride (pun intended) was sidelined by an ankle sprain. The skis are grey and Ontario is covered in an endless sheet of ice. Winter has been down right abusive to us runners and there are a few events that mark the end of winter and the break of spring. The very well known, Harry’s Spring run off is always a runners favourite here in Toronto with a 5km and an 8km road race around the beautiful highpark.
I’ve had to pull the plug on another season but this will give me time to continue to work on my base building and strength for an even stronger fall race. Trail running is a great way to build this strength and challenge myself in ways I can’t on the road.
5peaks, offer two race distances on the same day (plus two children challenges and the half marathon distance is only offered at certain races in each province). The Sport course is approx 5-7km and the Enduro course is approx 10-14km. All the courses offer a variety of scenic terrain to cover.
Trail running is pretty fun and is also very important for overall performance. One of the biggest reasons I was encouraged to get more familiar with it was for the same reason Running Times recommends its. To slow me down! A runners biggest problem no matter what pace they run is that they will always run too fast! “The benefit to running trails is simple: They will slow you down. Most of you already know, take your easy days easy, and your hard days hard”- Max king from Running Times reminds us. Not following this simple rule will ruin your recovery days which will end up negatively affecting your harder “training” days.
Trails have a huge benefit to strengthening our stabilizer muscles that often get neglected on the roads. Going forward all the time in the same motion will only lead to over-use injuries. Transitioning from road to trail and back to road allows you to utilizing all your bodies systems, creating a stronger foundation. Running a few times on a trail won’t make you a slower road runner, but will in fact make you a stronger runner in general.
So if you are tempted to try out the trails this season, head on over to the 5peaks website and sign up for a race. If you have never tried it, you might find yourself addicted after just one race. Make sure to leave room in your race schedule for maybe one more!