1 It’s more fun
Trail running is much more interesting than road running. The terrain, from rocky to rooty to muddy, is more varied. You never get bored. You have to think more about where you’re placing your feet, so it helps you stay in the moment. Being in nature is uplifting – you forget about everything else.
2 It’s not competitive
You can stop looking at your watch, and comparing times: depending on where you’re running, a mile could take you six minutes, or half an hour.
3 It’s a better workout
You use a wider variety of muscles: quads when you’re running uphill, hamstrings when you’re going down. This means you’re less likely to injure yourself, as everything gets a workout.
4 It’s sociable
If you’re running in the wild, it’s often best to go with someone, or a group. Plan a route that has a cafe at the end, or a nice hill walk as part of it. Find somewhere a bit wilder, out of town, a country park or a wood.
5 It’s more inspiring
Try the free Viewranger or OS apps for ideas.
• Beth Pascall, trail runner and doctor (bethpascall.com).