Trail running is something a lot of us think about getting into but we aren’t always too sure how. The extremely passionate and experienced trail runner, Simone Brick, shares her love for trail running and gives us five reasons to get motivated, lace up our shoes and hit the trail. 

This time of year we are bombarded from all angles with new ways to improve our health and fitness. Some of these methods are time-proven and legitimate, while others are fads that will come and go with the seasons. Trail running is most certainly one of the former, and if you’re yet to adopt those healthy changes you’ve been meaning to make, here are 5 reasons why giving trail running a try is well worth the effort. 

Trail runners setting off on a large group run

1. We function best when we move regularly. 

This one is not isolated to trail running, but certainly, a huge part of why getting out there and ticking your legs over at whatever pace you please can add years of health to your life. Exercise is a vital part of any health plan and will decrease your risk of succumbing to many of today’s top killers such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke; as well as strengthening your immune system in the battle against those annoying everyday ailments. Trail running plays a special part in this because the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other doesn’t take any learning or much equipment, yet still gets all your body’s physical systems working in unison and provides all the benefits exercise possibly could. We all know that what you don’t use, you lose; so by using every part of your body and mind as running on trails does, you’ll have a greater level of function to enjoy for many more years to come. 


2. You will gain strength from the terrain.

There are strength gains to be had from starting any exercise too, but the strength you gain from traversing the terrain when on the trails is a major benefit of trail running. It is also perhaps the most transferable to everyday life. Instead of needing gym equipment to gain quad and glute strength, the challenges of hopping across rocks and roots, or climbing over obstacles, or tackling steep hills, provide your body with challenges that strengthen many of the areas you use in everyday life. Climbing stairs, balancing while carrying heavy things, or the seemingly impossible agility involved in playing with kids will slowly become easier and easier as your body gets used to the challenges of the varying terrain. This leaves you with more energy to enjoy life’s moments, less susceptible to everyday injuries and more capable of exploring this world and its wonderful experiences fully. 

Alpine trail running route covered in snow

Tough terrain and hills builds strong muscles – and often gets good views!

3. It can provide a sense of belonging and community that can help anyone thrive. 

As human beings, we rely on each other. We wouldn’t survive without a community or sense of purpose and belonging as much as our ancestors wouldn’t have lived without their protective tribes. The communities within trail running are some of the strongest, most supportive, and most inclusive you will find. This is because it is a sport that anyone from the babies in prams, to the kick-arse grandparents can get involved in. It transcends status or background because we can all come together to toe the same start line and cross the same finish line, with very few barriers to participation. This creates an environment of learning, at times mutual suffering, and of like-minded support that can be just what we need to get on to, or stay on a healthy path in life. 


The plastic runner and a group of trail runners after a run picking up litter

You will never be short of support and inspiration in the trail running community. 
Photo Credit: The Plastic Runner

4. It can change your mindset by increasing self-belief.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been at some sort of trail run and had someone tell me they couldn’t keep going, or that a certain distance was beyond their capabilities. I have then watched the same people complete runs that they never thought possible, and the look in their eyes at the end, when a world of new possibilities opens up to them is something that must be experienced to be understood. This process of setting a hard goal, working towards it, and achieving it, all the while among nature and friends, is beneficial not just for running further or faster. It can translate into how you think about yourself and other aspects of your life; fostering a deeper self-confidence that you can carry with you into your career, family, or other adventurous endeavours.

Hiker with a fully loaded pack hiking along a scenic trail with a lake and snowy mountains in the distance

When you have developed the strength and self-belief, you never know where your feet may take you!


5. Being among nature is the best form of healing. 

This one is the heart of why so many people are coming to the sport of trail running and falling in love with it. We live in a more sterile and concrete world than ever before, and research shows we are suffering because of it. However, with a little searching, there are almost always some beautiful trails and nature to explore not far from even the densest of cities in Australia. Getting out and moving is beneficial, but moving among nature adds another layer of health benefits that should not be underestimated. For many, it becomes the space and personal therapy they have longed for, providing much needed solace in a fast-paced world. For others, it increases their sense of gratitude and wonder at life, providing clarity to thoughts and deepening their connection to their purpose. No matter what your reason is, being surrounded by greenery while breathing fresh air and using your body as it’s designed, is in my mind and personal experience the most bang for buck thing you can do when it comes to improving your overall mental and physical health. 

Trail runner, enjoying the open terrain out on a run

Breathe fresh air and find inner peace among nature.

The best part? All you need is a pair of trail-running shoes to make the journey safer and more comfortable, and you’re good to give it a try! Trail running clothing doesn’t have to be anything too specific, just some comfy clothes that you are happy to run in. If you do, use the hashtags #ExperienceIsEverything and #PaddyPallin or tag us @paddy_pallin so we can see the benefits you find and spread the experience!


#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin

About The Author

Simone Brick

Simone is the 2018 and 2019 Australian Mountain Running Champion and a passionate participator in all things running. After overcoming severe mental and physical illness with the help of running and nature, she is now studying Biomedicine at The University of Melbourne in the hope of using her experience and knowledge to pass on the help she has received. Simone has now competed twice internationally for Australia at the World Mountain Running Championships, most recently placing 27th, and is supported by Suunto and Salomon Australia. For more information on Simone visit her website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.