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Running coach and avid trail runner Michelle Mortimer tells us in this part one of a three part series about her passion for trail running and how to make the most out of it.

There is nothing I love more than getting into on my trail running gear on a summer’s day, and heading out onto the trails to see where they take me. A feast for the five senses: the spectacular views, or even if you’re on urban trails, the way the sunlight turns a wooded path into a glorious green cathedral of trees; the sound of the birdsong – I’ve heard a few woodpeckers on my local trails recently – and even the deafening sound of silence; the feeling of the warm sunshine on your skin, the breeze on your face and the soft ground beneath your feet; the smell of the flowers, and the manure; the taste of flies ….

Trail running can be the best kind of training there is, even if you are a road runner. Trails strengthen you up, and help you speed up – believe me, I trained for a road marathon recently with all my long runs on the trails, and knocked 33 minutes off my personal best, so hitting those trails really can be worthwhile.
But they come in many guises: flat, hilly, paths, grass, forest tracks, rocky, full of tree roots waiting to trip you up, and they can all be used as a useful part of your training. If you’ve never tried the trails before, this time of year is the best time to get out there and explore, with the dry conditions and the long evenings.

In my next blog I’ll offer some tips to get the most out of running tackle running trails, grass and on uneven surfaces.

About Michelle Mortimer
Michelle is a fully licensed running coach in Running Fitness through UK Athletics with experience working from beginner level through to ultramarathon distance. Based herself in the West Pennines in North East England you can follow Michelle on Instagram at: mileswithmichelle

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