Saturday's long road run was a reminder of why I enjoy longer outings on trail a hell of a lot more: Recovery time!
Recovery might seem like a passive phase, a time for rest and rejuvenation, while in reality, it is an active process, a time when our bodies repair the damage done during the workout and grow stronger.
Trail running, in my experience, tends to have a quicker recovery period.
This might sound counterintuitive, considering that in the moment, running trails often feels harder. To me, trail running is a full body workout as I run over roots, rocks and ditches, shifting and adjusting continuously to adapt to the terrain and engaging every muscle in my legs, ankle, feet and core.
At the end of a long trail run, I feel an intense muscle fatigue, a sign of the effort expended and the work done. But it's a satisfying kind of tiredness, one that leaves me invigorated, not depleted.
In stark contrast, road running, with its repetitive and constant motion on hard asphalt, often feels more like a war of attrition. The repetitive and constant motion, the lack of variation in the terrain, the relentless pounding - it all culminates in an extreme inflammation of my leg muscles and an uncomfortable sensation in my bones.
I am not trying to give road running a bad rap, it's often mentally more comfortable to tackle than trails.
I guess I found myself unexpectedly more sore than I thought I'd be, and this sparkled the introspection.