The Ultimate Running Battle: Roads vs Trails

 How many times have you been told not to run because it will damage your knees? That seems to be the very first criticism anyone has when you tell them you are a runner. Here’s the thing, running does put stress on the body and yes, that includes the knees. However, it is the good kind of stress. The point of any exercise is to stress the body in order to get stronger, increase cardio endurance and be an overall badass. 

Within the running community, there is a never ending debate between road running and trail running. You probably know someone who insists trail running is easier on the body while you have another friend who exclusively runs paved roads to avoid twisting an ankle. So which one is better? Let’s break down the benefits of road running versus trail running. 

Benefits of Road Running 

When you hit the road, you know what to expect. It is the same, flat surface throughout, so you do not have to constantly check where to place your feet. You also get the convenience of stepping right outside your front door to get started. Paved roads are everywhere in Whistler, so it is a great way to get to know your community. You can also increase your strength every time you climb a hill or run back down it. The main criticism of road running is that it puts too much stress on your body because of the hard surface. However, once your body is adapted, studies have shown that running on paved roads actually strengthens your knees. So, you can let people know that your knees are okay the next time they give you unsolicited running advice. 

benefits-of-road-running

Benefits of Trail Running 

Trail running helps you become more focused and increases your ability to adapt because of the inconsistent surface. You also get a great workout because most trails are not flat. There are many opportunities along a trail to power hike up the steep hills, this can actually be faster than running. Trail running is also great for strengthening your muscles. Plus, you get the added bonus of adventure. You can explore new scenery and have fun. Just be prepared with the proper foot wear, hydration and nutrition. You have to take a slower pace on trails because of the terrain, so you will be outside much longer than you would on a road run. 

Whistler Trail Running

Decision Time...

So which one is for you? It depends on your preferences and your goals. Looking for adventure and a challenge? Hit the trails. Want an efficient, high mileage workout? Time for road running. You will get a great sense of accomplishment and get fit, no matter what. Getting outside and running has a ton of physical and psychological benefits. You will reduce stress, increase endorphin production and just enjoy being outside in the fresh air. We are lucky that Whistler has an extensive network of both paved and unpaved running routes right on our doorstep. So pick a route, get your gear, and get running! 

Kick Start Running Course

Whether you decide to pick roads or trails our Kick Start running Course is the perfect tool to help you become mindful of the impact your daily activities are having on your body, so you can learn how to undo any potential for damage. We will show you how to improve your running technique, by teaching you a program designed for those wanting to excel their running. Over the course we will focus on technique with the use of video analysis. We will work on strength and conditioning to enhance our performance.  

  • Week 1: Introduction to running drills followed by strength aspect. 5k run with speed work - video analysis

  • Week 2: Assess video footage, importance of single side training and foam rolling, HIIT Run full body. 5k run with hill work - focusing on up hill

  • Week 3: Cross train; Deadlift and Squat focus -working glutes, hams, quads. Technique of foot placement 7k run

  • Week 4: Use of resistance bands to improve imbalances, blast of the legs AMRAPS. Endurance run and effective running down hills.

Only $89 for 4 weeks training

We only run small groups to help you reach your potential. Every Monday and Friday starting June 4th 7:00am-8:00am.

For more information feel free to check out our Facebook event or contact Jodie directly -  jodie@whistlergym.com 604 902 2753

Happy Running!