Running on off-road trails has quickly become my favorite way to put in miles.
I really got started about two years in December, when my boyfriend invited me to go out to Great Falls with him for a 5 mile run. I loved it. That month I signed up for my first 50k, The North Face Endurance Challenge DC.
My boyfriend took me to other trails in the area, and I found out that many of them joined up. I started exploring more of them for myself and taking the time to drive out to some a few times a week to run.
Spending more time on the trails, I quickly realized that I needed a tougher shoe than my Adidas Tempos, and came across my new go to trail shoe, the Saucony Peregrine (although lately I have been using the Mizuno Wave Kazan).
And since there aren’t water stations every 2 miles or so during trail races, I invested in a hydration pack to carry my own water, gels, and other necessities such as a mini first aid kit, toilet paper, an extra pair of socks, and maybe a trail map or jacket. The bag has become my safety blanket for road marathons as well!
I prefer trails over road now because there is less congestion, prettier scenery, and awesome camaraderie among other dedicated trail runners. Slowly I have been phasing out doing road races in favor of finding trail races.
This past spring, I started leading a small trail run group once or twice a month to help Pacers Running build a community of trail runners and get people that are curious about trail running out to experience it. For details, you can check out the Pacers Running Trail Group on Facebook. Or, follow me on Instagram (katehikerun) to find out where we’re at for the month.
If your usual road running routine is getting stale, I encourage you to venture out on a new path like I did!
By Kate Modzelewski, Pacers Fairfax