Why Midlife Women Can Benefit from Trail Running

Beautiful landscapes, adventure and escape, what’s not to love about trail running? But it could also be particularly suited to midlife female runners going through peri-menopause

Boost strength and improved movement

Ever heard the the old adage that running is bad for your knees? Well, what runner hasn’t! While research has proved that this is nonsense, road running does tend to cause increased stiffness because you only move in one plane.

With trail running, every footfall is different. This engages more muscles, so you build core and glute strength and it improve proprioceptions.

Not to mention better balance and co-ordination as you pick your way over rocky terrain.

We do it better than men!

While that might be a bit of a push to say, there’s no doubt that older women are increasingly smashing ultra trail running records.

Nicky Spinks was 54 when she won first female at the Arc of Attrition, a brutal 103 mile race across the Cornish coast line in winter finishing 9th overall.

In January 2022, Debbie Martin-Consani, 46 was first female and 7th overall in the Spine Race, 430km multi-stage ultra through the Pennines with over 11,000m of elevation gain.

In ultra-endurance races, results and research are increasingly beginning to reveal that older women appear to do well.

Whatever the reality, trail running and ultra running definitely provides new goals and training experiences and the potential to keep progressing.

Expand your horizons

If you have been road running for many years, trail running offers an opportunity to explore which is great for mind and mood.

Research shows that being in nature and connecting with the wild is good for mental health. And there is something positive to be said about letting go of old habits (times, splits and pace) and embracing a new way of training with navigation, hill climbs and the exhilaration of running down steep hills.

Girls Run the World Run Wild Trail Running Retreat

Improves Brain Function

Changing hormone levels and age can also have an impact on our brain and cognitive ability, leading to fogginess and more.

Learning something new exercises the brain and helps improve neuroplasticity which can help improve concentration, memory recall and problem solving. Trail running can become a much more mindful, all absorbing experience, creating that much sought after state of flow.

Ready to take on the trails? Membership to our all-in-one coached athlete digital platform starting at just £5.19 per week, gives you access to all our our expertly created training plans and programmes, created to give you the best training experience and success at your trail running events. Or join GRTW on the trails to learn trail technique, connect with other women and escape by joining us on one of our trail running retreats.