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Tired of the treadmill in your old-fashioned downtown gym? Access the path to glory and improve your trail performance thanks to 10 motivational tips from Muule . Discover the tips and reasons to push your limits and achieve your goals in 2024!

1° To go beyond your limits

The practice of trail running is recognized for its ability to push athletes to go beyond their personal limits.

Starting trail running means entering into a quest for performance gains that will push you to surpass yourself.

This commitment is rewarding because it combines unique physical and mental challenges. The varied and often unpredictable terrain of the trails requires constant adaptation, placing intense demands on strength, endurance and coordination.

It also builds mental resilience, as runners must deal with unforeseen obstacles and difficult situations, which cultivates a mentality of perseverance and determination.

When trail running, it is recommended to set goals to be able to plan your progress. This most often materializes through races. And each of them is an opportunity to set new challenges, which push you to push your own boundaries, and to achieve performances that you might never have imagined possible.

It is this continuous progression and the quest for improvement that makes trail running such a rewarding and transformative discipline.

Trailer on the rise

2° To strengthen yourself physically

Trail running has multiple physical benefits and will always be more beneficial than a session on asphalt.

Running uphill strengthens the legs, uneven terrain improves ankle strength, flexibility, and balance.

Adapting the length of your stride to avoid roots or stones develops agility and coordination.

These advantages will also make you better on the road, like the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.

Your trail outings will also stimulate your cardiovascular system, the heart becomes stronger and more efficient, which increases endurance and reduces the risk of heart disease.

This practice uses not only the large muscle groups used in road running, but also the small stabilizing muscles. Essential muscles for maintaining good balance and strength in the feet and ankles.

We also notice an improvement in bone health, trail running is a weight-bearing activity, which helps strengthen them and prevents osteoporosis.

On average, a person can burn between 300 and 500 calories per hour when hiking or trail running, which helps eliminate body fat.

Running on trails helps reduce impact on joints, minimizing strain and impact compared to running on hard surfaces, thus benefiting knees and other joints.

A person can burn between 300 and 500 calories per hour while trail running.

3° Reconnect with nature

80% of us live in urban areas, so what's better than a trail session in nature to escape the city!

Trail running can give you a good excuse to get out of the concrete jungle for a few hours without having to plan a weekend in the countryside.

Any French city dweller has accessible nature spots close to home, this can even allow you to discover hidden places near you.

Several studies show that this reconnection that this practice makes possible can improve one's mental health. Running on these varied terrains promotes concentration and full awareness of the moment, which helps reduce anxiety and stress.

Trailer in the middle of the wild mountain.

4° Improve your lifestyle

When trail running, your brain secretes endorphins and serotonin, the hormones of pleasure and well-being.

They make you calm and prepare you for restful sleep. On a daily basis, your digestion will be improved... Running increases the rate at which food is metabolized by the body.

If you are still not convinced, know that runners generally have a higher life expectancy and a more efficient immune defense; that they display firmer and less wrinkled skin thanks to better circulation and absorption of oxygen.

By becoming a trailer, you stay young longer! Trail running improves lifestyle by combining regular physical activity, exposure to nature, better quality of sleep, healthy eating, effective stress management, positive social engagement, and disease prevention. These factors contribute to a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling life.

Trailers generally have a higher life expectancy.

5° Develop a feeling of accomplishment

Achieve these goals, successfully overcome difficult terrain and long distances.

Whether it's running a certain distance or participating in a trail race, it builds your self-confidence. This type of physical challenge can be truly rewarding and provoke a unique feeling of accomplishment.

The rewards of trail running are significant. Regardless of how well or poorly you perform, adapting to the environment and sometimes difficult conditions makes you feel like you've done more than just running from point A to point B.

These hard times allow us to cultivate resilience and perseverance, we must continue in the face of pain, fatigue, and sometimes fight against the elements. This necessary tenacity can only strengthen your feeling of success.

Trail running, like any cross-country sport, allows you to monitor and measure this progress in performance; seeing this continuous improvement in terms of pace, distance and elevation can only bring you pride and gratification.

Exhausted competitor at the end of a race.

6° It’s good for morale

Trail running is much more than just a physical exercise, it is an activity beneficial for mental health.

Studies are beginning to show that outdoor running can link serotonin to musculature, having a positive cognitive impact and providing therapeutic benefits for those suffering from depression.

Rather than getting lost in your thoughts, trail running helps you concentrate on the present moment and on the task at hand, thus stimulating the brain in a way other than in your professional life.

On a trail, there is no time to get bored or get lost in thoughts, the terrain and nature refocus you on the moment. At a time of sedentary lifestyle and isolation, we must encourage people to go outside and reach out to others. This mental protection that we can feel during a session strengthens the connection to the body. This individual sport is often practiced in groups to benefit from a group effect. This feeling of belonging to a group encourages physical activity in the open air.

At a time of sedentary lifestyle and isolation, we must encourage ourselves to go outside and reach out to others. It is essential for reducing anxiety and depression. Regular trail running can sharpen bodily perceptions and strengthen mental presence and concentration, which contributes to overall mental health.

Trail running is also a feeling of gratitude towards others. It's a feeling of gratitude, towards the volunteers during a race for example. Trail running means realizing your dependence, and that can do good in a society where we are always demanding more independence and autonomy.

This individual sport is often practiced in groups to benefit from a group effect.

7° Lose weight

Due to its practice on demanding hilly or mountainous terrain. Trail running requires a very significant expenditure of energy and calories. It is the variations in pace linked to changing terrain which causes a great intensity of effort and which leads to this level of expenditure.

Intense physical exercise boosts metabolism, allowing the body to burn calories at a higher rate even after training. This effect is often called “afterburn”.

Muscle development in trail running involves the legs but also the trunk and arms, to stabilize the body and maintain balance. Building muscle tissue helps burn more calories, even at rest, because muscles are metabolically active tissues. In short, trail running helps reduce body fat effectively, particularly because it combines cardio and strength in a single activity, targeting both fat loss and increased muscle mass.

8° Improve your mobility and stability

When you are traveling “all-terrain”, in uneven areas and various surfaces. The stability of the feet, ankles and overall balance are at stake at all times, requiring strong muscular reactivity and “speed of reading the terrain”.

Trail running partly uses the proprioceptive sense (deep sensitivity) which is the perception of the position of our body and our segments in space, our neuro-motor control and our capacity for muscular pre-activation which come into play. game to manage balance. We are going to work on reaction speed and neuromuscular coordination to have a more effective movement.

The result of this work is a “strong, stable and intelligent” foot. This work on foot dynamics is not only useful in trail running, it allows you to have a safer gait in daily life.

9° Live an adventure

As Mathieu Blanchard, second in a titanic UTMB in 2022 behind the legend Killian Jornet, said: “Ultra-Trail is an adventure”.

Mathieu Blanchard explains that this adventure is characterized by a state of mind: “a need to get out of your daily life and your comfort zone, and to lose control.”

It's a sport where you can find yourself running outside at night, being confronted with very uncomfortable areas and you have to adapt to this natural environment that you can't control. A trail race is also a mental adventure, the energy curve can be reversed, going from bad feelings at the start, to finding a boost of energy after a few hours of running.

The adventure is also human, taking a bib for an event is the guarantee of meeting people. Finding yourself supporting strangers you meet at a refreshment point, receiving treatment from volunteers or discussing the course at the starting line.

Mathieu Blanchard at the arrival of UTMB 2022.

10° It’s much more fun than the road

To finally convince you. We all know that running the same streets day after day can quickly become boring.

With trail running, you will discover different landscapes, smells and terrain every kilometer. Even on the same trails, elements vary depending on the season, time and weather.

And in addition to the fantastic views these places offer, you are never safe from encountering animals along the way...

Article written by Colin de Muule on May 21, 2024.

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