If you’re new to running, you may think you have to choose what type of runner you want to be. You feel the need to classify yourself as a road, track or trail runner, but that’s not the case. You can and should at least test the waters of many types of running. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t box yourself in as soon as you get started in the sport.
If you only stick to one type of running, you may set yourself up to fall into a training rut, simply because you’ll get tired of the same old routes day after day. Being open to training on the track, road and trails will give your training schedule some much-needed variety, and by dividing your training into three ways, you’ll be less likely to get bored with your workouts.
Meet more people
The running community is an amazing group, and you’ll meet wonderful people wherever you look in the sport. By expanding your training and hitting the track, road and trails, you’ll open yourself up to the opportunity to meet more people in each of these sub-groups. Meeting more people means more potential training buddies.
find what you like
If you just assume that road running is the way to go and don’t try the other options, you’ll never know if the track or trails were a better fit for you. By testing each type as soon as you get into the sport, you’ll find your niche sooner, which will only help you thrive as a runner.
no rules of racing
Lots of people identify with the races they run, but that doesn’t mean you have to pick one type of event for the rest of your running career. In fact, entering races on all three surfaces is a good idea for all runners. If you’re a road runner, entering a track race will help you with your speed, and hitting up a trail race will give you the chance to race by feel. Try multiple types of races. You won’t regret it.
You can stop anytime
Just as there is no rule saying you can’t be a track, trail and road runner all at the same time, there’s nothing that says you can’t leave any one of those types of running behind if you don’t like it. Give each type of running a chance, just to see if you like them, but if you realize that you don’t enjoy one, then drop it. Running’s about having fun, so there’s no point in forcing yourself to do something you hate.