One of the least discussed benefits of mountain trail running is proprioception.
Proprioception is a noun (Physiology): perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position on one's body.
I started researching proprioception, after reading an article regarding the physiological benefits gained by the activity of mountain trail running. I've have an active daily running streak, that started on October 6th, 2007. Running every day has allowed me the opportunity to invest a lot of time and energy into perfecting my stride mechanics. My running style is unique to me. However, because I run everyday it has been important to repeat movements that allow me to run injury free.
What's interesting about mountain trail running is that I have taken more falls in the last year, then at any other time during by almost 14 years running streak. What is interesting is I have learned to fall without serious injury by constantly focusing on the best possible foot placement. Plus in trail running there is normally a grade involved, and I'm running on dirt (snow), which is more forgiving than pavement.
I was 48 years old when I started my streak and I'm 62 years old now. What I'm excited about is how much more skill I have now that I did a year ago. Maybe it's the development of my "sixth sense" or proprioception.