Technical Vs Non-Technical Trail Running

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    The popularity of trail running as a sport has been growing steadily here in the North East and throughout the United States. While ultra-endurance events are still fairly underground, shorter trail races and plenty of trail running groups have been springing up left and right.

    Trail running offers numerous advantages over training on roads, which is what is drawing most of the newcomers to the sport.

    Some of those advantages include:

    • There is less impact on the body on trails…
    • Trail running is more fun than roads…
    • Recovery on trails is much easier than on roads…
    • There tend to be fewer overuse injuries from running trails…
    • Trail running is more fun than roads…
    • The air on the trails tends to be cleaner with more trees and less traffic…
    • You utilize more muscle groups when running trails…
    • Trail running is more fun than roads…

    Technical vs Non-Technical Trails

    The first thing that a trail runner wants to know about a new trail is whether it is technical or non-technical.

    Non-Technical Trails are basically soft roads. They are well maintained, they tend to be wide enough for 2 or even more people to run abreast, and there are not very many obstacles in your path as you run. The best non-technical trails in the Southern Maine area are at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, which boasts upwards of 15 miles of trails and is the home of the Pineland Farms Festival of Races each Spring which includes races such as the barefoot 5k and canicross 5k on Saturday and the 25k, 50k and 50 mile races on Sunday.

    Technical Trails tend to be single track trails, which means that only one person can advance along the trail at a time. There will be numerous obstacles, including but not limited to rocks, roots, and rivers. You need to maintain your focus in order to run safely along a technical trail. The trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal are a good example of technical trails and are easily reached from Portland. They are also the site of the Bradbury Mountain Trail Racing Series throughout the Summer.

    Single-Track Trails are usually but not always pretty technical, but aren’t wide enough for people to run next to one another so you will need to remain single file when running in a group.

    Double-Track Trails are wider than single-track and can accommodate at least two people running abreast, if not 3 or 4.  Double-track trails tend to be easier to navigate, and may or may not be technical in nature.



    Source by Blaine Moore