trail running vs road running

What Is The Difference Between Trail Running And Road Running? We Have Answers!

When it comes to running, perhaps you are nothing short of passionate and dedicated when it comes to the sport. You waste no time lacing up and going out for long runs every day, as well as performing smaller jogs between breaks at work or at school. Really, your passion no knows limits, and you are happy with that.

That said, perhaps you have tried many different types of runs from all sorts of environments. From the beach to trails to city concrete, you have done them all. However, you might be interested in knowing just what is the difference between trail running and road running, if there is a difference at all?

From this thought, we are here to help! Read on to learn more in this article about trail running vs road running. Aside from learning about that, we will also give you tips and tricks on how to go about succeeding in both types of runs, as means of getting yourself into top shape in the future. Soon enough, you will be well on your way to there!

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 trail running vs road running

Without further ado, let’s get started!


What are the health benefits to running?

First things first, we need to explain the mechanics of running, in order to help you understand just how the different types of runs affect your body and mind. Convenient and versatile, running is one of the easiest sports to perform, considering that you do not need a lot of equipment to get started with. Not only that, but also it gives you plenty of health benefits—physical and mental—which are sure to keep you fit and happy for a long time.

That said, here are just a few benefits to running:

1. Running boosts your metabolism

Running boosts your metabolism

Since it is an aerobic exercise, running is a great way to burn off a lot of energy, even through as short as a 10-minute jog about the block. As a result, it makes your body stronger, as well as increasing its metabolism to make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, but also it gives you more of a reason to load up on food for your next meal, without any consequences!

2. Running improves your cardiovascular health

On a similar health note, running enhances your cardiovascular health, through the means of creating a stronger heart and lowering your blood pressure. Since running requires a lot of oxygen and blood flow to muscles to drive them forward, the heart subsequently works faster and harder to do so, so that in the end it generates stronger, healthier heartbeats.

3. Running lifts your spirits

This point refers to mental health, for running not only creates a fitter body, but also a happier mind. Specifically, it does so by releasing what are known as endorphins, a chemical which is sort of a natural pain-killer that makes you relaxed and calm after a run, commonly known as the “runner’s high.” That said, you feel a sense of accomplishment after each run, as well as motivated to do it all over again the next time around.

4. Running makes you more outgoing and social

Running makes you more outgoing and social

Finally, running can boost your interpersonal relationships, i.e. social groups that you might otherwise be too nervous or shy to initiate. It helps if you tend to run in groups, or even with a running buddy, as you will find equally-dedicated runners to run and bond with over the miles. Besides, it beats having to run on your alone, which can get boring after a while.

What is the difference between trail running and road running?

While both are essence of running, there are just a few differences between them to know about. Here, we give you a brief list of them:

1. Surface differences

While road running refers to running on smoother surfaces like asphalt and concrete, trail running is about running on rockier, softer, and perhaps less stable ground. Both have their benefits, as the former, while easier to run on, can take a toll on your joints due to its hardness, whereas the latter, while less hard on your joints, tends to be more difficult to navigate.

Surface differences

2. Location and scenery

Road running takes place primarily in the city, whereas trail running does so in large parks or dirt paths away from the urban noise. Runners have noted feeling more at peace running on trails because of the natural surroundings, but at the same time cities can offer similar sentiments, even if they are not as tied in with nature to begin with.

3. Type of running shoe

Finally, there are differences to the running shoe you get for road and trail runs. The former tends to have shoes which are lighter, thinner, and often brighter and colorful for style. On the other hand, the latter is usually thicker, heftier, and plainer in design as means of matching the dirty and rocky trail ahead.

For some more information on the differences between the two, check out this video:

How can I become a better trail runner and/or road runner?

Just like with any type of running out there, it only comes down to a few aspects to make you a better trail and/or road runner. We highlight two of them here:

1. Set a goal

No runner ever gets better without establishing a goal to achieve. Perhaps you want to complete a 5K or achieve a personal record in the mile. Doing so will help motivate you, so that you can create a consistent schedule.

2. Perform interval training

It is not just about running a lot every day, but also shaking it up with both fast and slow-tempo runs. It keeps your body alert, so that you burn more energy and make your body fitter than ever.

Perform interval training


Overall, there are many differences to road running and trail running. However, by finding the type that suits you best, you will be well on your way to a lovely workout.

Comment if you have any questions or remarks. Also, do not forget to share this article with friends and family!


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