My running wife, the one I’m not married to, and I did a 5 mile trail run recently that was pretty technical back on Labor day. She did a good job of putting up with my pace (don’t let her tell you otherwise) and not sprinting out ahead.
I ended up on all fours in the middle of the trail
There was a couple of stretches where we had to walk simply due to congestion on the trails which were single file in a few locations.
The end result was another distance where I finished with little pain from my ITBS area which again points to the physical therapy routines I’m doing actually helping.
Trail running is really just more enjoyable than road running but it can be more painful for sure. On technical sections you really have to watch your footing, loose rocks, roots, deeper sand, gremlins or bad things can happen.
And those bad things happened to me twice. I ended up on all fours in the middle of the trail and while under some circumstances that’s not a bad thing at all, in this case I left skin from two elbows, one forearm and two knees behind. Rug burns but without the enjoyment of getting them.
The biggest problem I have is on the semi-smooth/easy stretches I let my guard down and start scanning the trail further down, not where my feet are landing. As a result I tripped over a rock and a root. The second one also wrenched the muscles in the right side of my back.
That’s not a complaint now, I’ve already been back on the trails and will be back again, and again.
It’s just a warning that trail running has dangers that are different than those of road running. You’re more likely to take a fall, you’re even more likely to get lost, hopefully not to the point where they have to send in a rescue team but to the point you may end up running further than you planned.
And it does require a bit more in terms of gear. A hydration vest or pack IMO is preferable to hand helds for trail running so that your hands are free to catch yourself in a fall. Of course if you never fall then go with whatever works.