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7980 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2010 6:58 AM by DVMrunner
ChubbyRunrGrl Amateur 31 posts since
Nov 4, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 1, 2010 3:24 PM

Looking for tips/suggestions for running my first trail run.



There isn't much to choose from during this time of year in my area...but I really need to break from the treadmill. I registered for a 6k trail run - less than 2 weeks! I've heard the course is fairly flat, just a couple hills.


I'm going to do my best to make it to try the actual course once before but not sure if that will be possible. I did buy and break in some great trail shoes - very lightweight and less cushion but I suppose that's needed since I'll be on soft ground I also ordered some thermal I can't put off running in the cold!


Now, I just need to know what to expect. I wonder how far off I'll be from my regular pace...heck if you're on a narrow trail, how do a few hundred people even navigate? I think I'm just going to start near the end of the "starting line" as usual, and take my time and get through it. The distance isn't an's the part involving potential mud, branches, dirt, etc..oh my. I'm very nervous. I'm worried about being heavier and the soft ground killing my ankles. I'm going to try to run outside a few times before this race and find some soft ground to run on.


Any thoughts, comments, suggestions? I've heard some folks say they prefer trail running to road racing. I'm hoping I'll surprise myself and love it.

Runner since 2009.

I used to run to get faster, but got tired of pushing it, panting and feeling disappointed.

Now I run to relax and enjoy, around a 12:30 - 13:00 average pace.

Starting to get into trail running - way slower, but highly enjoyable.

Try to run 15-20mi per week and spin 4-7 times per week.

Best race paces:

1 mile - 10:12

5K - 11:34

4mi - 11:32

10K - 11:15

Half Marathon - 13:20

I wear New Balance running gear (they have many choices in XXL, size 18).

I wear Moving Comfort heavy duty bras.

I wear New Balance 769/760/860 for stability and cushion.

I wear New Balance 904 for trails.

  • caesar_august Pro 85 posts since
    Aug 3, 2009

    Well a lot depends on the type of terrain that you will be running on. Out by me, there are a lot of rocks, not a lot of anything else, so shoes with cushion is an excellent thing.


    Since you're going to try and run the actual course before the event, that should give you an idea on how to navigate the course successfully. Outside of normal running style, I'm afraid that I cannot give you any tips (other than watch your step - for roots or other things that might trip you up).


    I enjoy trail running because it gives you some great scenery to enjoy while you are running.


    Enjoy your first trail run!

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  • Jennifer22219 Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 8, 2009

    It really depends on the type of trail run but most are pretty tame I think.   I ran a couple of trail races for the first time last year and the starts were usually wide open so you had awhile to spread out before the single track.  The hills and some softer/looser terrain were the hard part.  I wou;dn't analyze it too much, just plan on getting out there and running like its a training run, watch your step and have fun!

  • reporteraj Rookie 3 posts since
    Feb 6, 2010



    Did you have your trail run yet?


    My suggestion is to just have fun with it and treat it like an obstacle course.


    Sometimes there will be tree roots or other things that you have to hop around -- you just have to pay more attention than when you're on a treadmill or a sidewalk.


    But it can be more fun too! You'll feel like you're using more of your body, almost like a kid playing outside.

  • reporteraj Rookie 3 posts since
    Feb 6, 2010

    I finished dead last in a half-marathon once. The only people who finished after me were those who walked it. (I ran the whole thing.)


    Matter of fact, there was a point where we all had to double back on the route, and so we ran to the end of a long road, circled a cone, and then continued back the way we came.


    Well, here I come down the road, and I run around the cone. As soon as I did, a guy with a baseball cap walks over and picks up the cone and tosses it into the back of his pickup truck.


    It was then that I realized: He's taking away the cone because I'm the last one.


    Here are three reasons why being last is kind of fun:


    1. Instead of a dixie cup of Gatorade, folks just pass you the whole bottle.


    2. People cheer hard when they see last place coming. You get the BIGGEST smiles.


    3. Your friends will be so relieved that you are still alive when you cross the finish line, that they'll forget about your dismal time.


    Have fun out there. =)

  • reporteraj Rookie 3 posts since
    Feb 6, 2010

    Hahaha! Yep! You'll be barfing, but a cute barfer!!

  • DVMrunner Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 9, 2010


    First, congratulations on your progress and weight loss so far!  My friend and I will be at your trail race! (Wildlife Prairie Park, right?  I guessed your location based on the races you list as having previously run.)  So look for Susie and Kirsten.  Susie runs at about your pace, so maybe you can hook up.  We are newbiw runners too; I started running in June '09 and Susie in Oct '09.

    Don't worry about making the switch from roads to trails.  The ground will obviously be frozen, so you won't have to worry about mud or water.  It will be more of an effort than running on pavement or a treadmill so be prepared for that.  May want to invest in some YakTrax (grippy spiky things you attach to the bottom of your shoes) -- they help with traction in slippery conditions and ice, though not so much in deep snow.  My friend runs in them; I do not. Bring a dry pair of shoes, socks, and pants to change into after the race.  As for the soft ground being hard on your ankles -- well, like I said the ground won't be all that soft this weekend, but I have found the exact opposite to be the case -- my legs much prefer forgiving trail surfaces over hard pavement!  And don't worry about your time -- you will likely run much slower than on pavement or a treadmill, but so will everyone else.  So just relax and enjoy the scenery -- where else can you run amidst bison and wolves?  See you there!

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