Road vs Trail Running

The sport of running is a wonderfully diverse and inclusive sport. People from all ages, backgrounds and abilities can participate. It's an easily accessible sport compared to others; you can get out and go with just some shoes and workout gear.

On the surface one can view as running as a simple sport with not much variety. But those who dig deeper and get passionate about the sport know there is so much more to running. Take for example, the type of running you can do; there is a huge range and diversity. From short distance track, to road running, cross country, trail racing and ultra running. Even within these disciplines there are a variety of distances and terrains to challenge and interest anyone and everyone.
For this blog post, I will be focusing on road running and trail running, what I love about each and recommendations for my favourite Topo Athletic shoes to use. Without getting into specific distances, I will look at the positives of road running and trail running and show why you can love both.

Positives of Road Running

Accessibility; wherever you live you can start your run as soon as you walk out your door.

Pace; you can set certain pace goals for workouts that will help you determine what pace you should aim to run in your next race. Pace is a great metric that can help determine progress. Road running will allow consistence pace kilometer after kilometer.

Focus; you can go into autopilot mode while road running. Of course, you have to pay attention to traffic while on the road and crossing streets. This means with road running you can hit your time and distance goals with less effort.

Routes; it's easier to plan or plot a route while road running. Google maps, map a run will show you exactly where you are going to go, give estimates on the time it will take and tell you the distance. Its a lot more accurate for road running than trail running.

Pee breaks; for road runners, its not hard to find access to washrooms, especially if you live in a town or city.

My favourite Topo Athletic shoes for Road

Phantom 3 – The go to for easy long or recovery runs. The extra cushion protects your joints and prevent fatigue allowing you to tick of the kilometers.

Cyclone 2 – This is a road runners dream race shoe. Light, fast with a rocker and Pebax foam. This shoe will easily help you hit those road personal bests.

Specter – What I like to call the Tempo shoes. These shoes are perfect for hard efforts like kilometer or mile repeats or steady effort. This would be my go-to for a longer distance race like half marathon or marathon too. They offer the perfect combination of speed and cushioning.

Positives of Trail Running

Scenery: TRAILS ARE BEAUTIFUL. Whether you’re in the mountains or in the local woods, trail running will always produce the most spectacular views.
Freedom: When you are trail running pace doesn’t matter. Walking is a consistent part of trail running too. There can be a mix of technical terrain and steep uphill climbs meaning pace doesn’t matter. Giving you the freedom to enjoy your experience.

Balance: Trail running will literally improve your balance as you are running on varied terrain, roots and rocks. But trail running will also improve lower limb strength, stabilizer muscles, and has neuromuscular benefits.
Injury resistance: road runners have higher loads on the tendon and less shock absorption. The varied technical and softer terrain of trail running can help injury proof you as a runner.

Fun: plain and simple trail running is so much fun. It can bring you back to your childhood when you just ran for fun.

My favourite Topo Athletic shoes for Trails

Runventure 4 – This is my go-to for trail races. Relatively light for a trail shoe, it gives you the speed needed during races while the deep lugs provide the grip needed to power up those hills.

MT4 – I love this shoe as it works as well on road as it does on trail. If you find yourself with runs that have a mixture of both this is the shoe for you. Great for easy and long trail runs too.

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