Meet one of our Threshold Trail Series Ambassadors for 2019, Livvy Hill! Starting out as a road runner, we asked for her top tips on how to make the transition from running out on the road to trekking on the trails.
My first 10km road race was a huge deal to me; I was so scared and excited but in the end, I was just ridiculously proud of myself for finishing. I considered myself the worlds least likely ‘runner’ and those who knew me before this race would probably have agreed. Soon, however, I realised, anyone can be a runner! I’ve just signed up for the Threshold Trail Series in 2019, but I still consider myself new to the running world, especially the ‘trail’ community where I actually only invested in my first pair of trail shoes just last week! Since moving more of my miles over to the trails, I wanted to share some things I have learnt about the transition!
1. Variety is the spice of life
Each trail I have trained on has offered different terrain, views and experiences! I live near a lot of coastal paths, and whilst they are pretty hilly and involve plenty of never-ending stairs, this has made me so much stronger and worked muscles I wouldn’t normally feel on the roads. I’m a sucker for a good view, which makes all the climbs worth it!
2. Pressure free zone
I’m not a speedy road runner. But I do put pressure on myself to run certain times and hit certain goals on the road. For me, this is actually a good thing and is what drew me torunning in the first place. I love new goals and new challenges, but sometimes you just want or need a break. Of course you can run pressure free on the roads too, but trails offer this sense of freedom that I just don’t personally get on the road. I don’t even look at my watch because I’m using my eyes to check the terrain or the awesome views.
3. Inclusion elevates all
I have to be honest; where I live all runners are super friendly both off and on the trails. But something I have noticed is the trails feel much more inclusive of ALL runners. It may just be the lucky couple of trail races I happened to participate in, but the diversity in running abilities was amazing to see. There were no cut off times and all runners, fast or slow chatted with one another on the routes. Everyone appeared so much more cheerful than at road events and the inclusive atmosphere was clearly having a positive effect. This is another great thing about the Threshold Trail Series…runners, joggers, hikers, walkers…all are welcome to participate!
4. All the gear and no idea?
It sounds silly, but I actually kept putting off trail running because I didn’t own trail shoes. I was under some ridiculous impression that the trails would reject me unless I had all the right kit. Don’t let Instagram fool you into thinking the same! I ended up taking the plunge in my regular road trainers and guess what? I survived. Sure, now I know trail running is something I want to keep up I’ve invested in a sensible pair of shoes, but the beauty of the trails is it’s not expensive, all you have to do is want to give it a go.
So have the trails stolen my heart? Not entirely. I still road run, and will continue to do so. People seem to be under the impression that you’re either a road runner or a trail runner, well I’m going to put myself in both categories. I love both for different reasons. What started out as one 10k challenge has become something so much more, so here’s to the Threshold Trail Series 2019…who’s in?!