IN MY POST on cross-country running I discussed my preference for staying off-road.
Runner’s World has a guide to the pros and cons of various surfaces.
My longest run this year was on a mixture of trail, grass, mud and road.
This is what Runner’s World has to say about woodland trails:
For a run that mixes constantly-changing surroundings with near-ideal running surfaces, head for your local woodland. Soft peat is God’s gift to runners, trails are usually quite level, and in some forests they go on for miles. They can sometimes be rather muddy, though.
Pros: Usually easy on the legs and located in scenic areas that make you keen to return.
Cons: Unless you’re lucky enough to find wood chips or well-drained peat, woodland trails can be muddy and slippery. Tree roots can be a hazard for unwary runners.
Conclusion: Woodland trails can be a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality, though the odds are usually in your favour. A wood-chip trail through a huge forest is the ultimate runner’s treat, though these are found in greater abundance in Finland than in Britain.
The full feature is here: