Trail running is growing in popularity as more runners switch to off-road and discover new locations while giving our bodies a break from repetitive pounding. Groups such as Trail Tuesday have been set up to cater for people looking to transition from tarmac.
The brainchild of Andrew Vickerman, Trail Tuesday is a weekly series of free runs and walks, in Staffordshire and South Cheshire, designed for all abilities. From the newcomer to the experienced fell runner you are welcome to join the company of like-minded people who enjoy getting off the beaten track. These are fun and friendly sessions at a pace to suit everyone with a sociable aspect, i.e. trip to the pub afterwards.
These sessions are an ideal way to learn the techniques of this type of running such as tackling hills and learning to descend as well as kit choice, planning a route and navigation. The Trail Tuesday sessions use a ‘mustering’ system for safety whereby front runners turn around at a designated point and head back to avoid anyone being left behind.
There are guided trail runs in other parts of the Midlands including those provided by Andy Brooks (Peak Running) in Derbyshire and Mud and Miles in Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire. Another popular location is Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with plenty of woodland and hills to explore. This is also part of the Trail Tuesday schedule.
Trail running even has its own festival which is a weekend celebration of off-road featuring workshops, talks, films, music and parties. Set in the stunning Gower Peninsula, South Wales it is dedicated to those who love everything to do with trails.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Vickerman.