Road walking/running is not all there is when training for a specific race distance or even just getting out there and exercising. Many people don't realize how much fun and interesting trail walking/running is. With trail walking/running you don't have to worry about some idiot driver who chooses not to see you or even having to smell the exhaust from cars or when walking/running in an area where there are stores and restaurants the smells coming from those places can be overwhelming to your senses!
There are many trail systems not too far from my house which is wonderful. I just need to either go out the door and up the street a little ways or even head out to my back yard and jump in the woods from there. One major difference between road walking/running and trail walking/running is that you definitely need to pay more attention to your surroundings on the trail. You don't want to get lost in the woods which can be very easily done if the trail is not marked and you also don't want to end up face planting because you tripped over a root or rock sticking out of the ground. Many trails are smoothed down from other walkers/runner and bicyclists but there are still areas especially after it rains where the ground is very soft and you can end up twisting an ankle or getting a shoe full of water and mud!! Another thing you need to watch out for in the woods is animals. The other day when I took a trail run I came across a 3 foot black rat snake sunning itself while laying across the trail. It startled me and at first I thought it was dead but then it started moving very slowly across the trail. I waited for it to get to the otherside and I started moving again.
Bicyclists are another hazard that can result in a major crash if both are not careful. Some trails are very narrow and could cause problems if you and a bicyclist come together at a point on the trail. It is easier for you to move out of the way but you will always have to make a compromise for the safety of everyone!!
Please enjoy these videos of my latest trail walk/runs:
**Warning~these videos are very shaky because I was taping while exercising!! ;)