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4502 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 27, 2010 12:43 PM by rbird RSS
smbfly Rookie 7 posts since
Nov 11, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 9, 2010 12:12 PM

From road to trail...

Greetings, all! I have been training for my first road marathon, and I signed up for a 10K trail run to incorporate something different. Normally, running a road 10k for me is no problem, but MAN did I crash and burn on the trail race! Rocky, very hilly (uncommon for Florida - which is very flat) and a hot morning left me feeling SLOW (nearly 2 min/ mile slower than my road pace) and very, very defeated after the run. There's another run on the same trail in October, but the park is much too far away (about an hour and a half) to run at on a regular basis. We have some other parks with single-track type trails, but nothing with the long hills and rocky terrain that kicked my butt in this trail! Any hints and suggestions on how to better train for trails?

Thank you!!

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 11, 2010 3:04 AM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    I'm in the same boat as you. Nearest trails are an hour+ away from me, so I'm stuck training on the roads during the week. I can sometimes get away on the weekends, but not often. (I ran some great trails this past weekend, but I won't be going back for a few weeks -- they're hosting a bow-hunting tournament for the next couple of weekends....)

     

    In my mind, there's not much you can do to help train yourself to run really technical stuff (i.e., lots of roots, rocks, and things that you trip over), but you can do a fair bit of work to get your muscles ready for the challenges. One thing that comes to mind for me is running lots of hills/stairs/stair-climbing machine. I always get my butt handed to me on the gnarly inclines, so anything I can do to help prepare for those will help. Likewise, doing some hill work on the descents is a good idea. Your quads will get completely trashed from doing downhills fast (something about eccentric contractions), so doing some fast downhills should help.

     

    Naturally, lots of core work is a good thing. It takes a lot of balance to run trails, and a strong core will help quite a bit. Along the same lines, doing exercises to strengthen your ankles is a good thing. The ankles take a beating on technical stuff with the constant adjustments, so getting on a balance board is good, as well as just standing for extended periods of time on one foot (if that gets easy, try closing your eyes -- totally different experience!).

     

    Good luck!

     

    Don





    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 11, 2010 5:40 AM (in response to dwm082)
    Re: From road to trail...

    I agree with all above, my times are always a lot slower on trails, 15 mins slower on a 1/2 marathon.   We run repeats on a trail fairly often, you should be able to find a 800 or mile trail and do repeats, it is good for your supporting muscles also.  As for hills, do the bridges.  Good luck

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 11, 2010 6:18 AM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    Sarah,

     

    Why feel defeated? You raced, not just ran, an entirely different type course that placed incredibly different demands on you than you normally face.

     

    I'm fortunate to live near all sorts of trails, from old logging or farm roads to highly technical single track.

     

    Here's what I suggest:

     

    1.  Expect to go slower.  You are not running in a straight line on a more or less level course.

     

    2.  Train for hills.  I disagree about using machines  -- you need to train your foot-eye coordination.  Run stairs, and don't use the handrails.  Another option, long known to skateboarders, parking decks on weekends.

     

    3.  Wobble boards!  They strengthen ankles, small muscles in your feet, and your core.

     

    4.  Plyometrics -- jumping exercises.  I would focus on single leg jumping exercises because so much of trail running places different stresses on the individual legs.

     

    5.  Lateral motion exercises.  If you ever played soccer or tennis, you know about lateral motion.  You should try to strengthen the muscles in your legs that help you cut and maintain balance. 
    That will take care of your ankles.  I strongly suggest pick-up adult soccer if there is such a thing in your area (just avoid the crazy Ronaldo wannabes), frisbee or volleyball.  Find something that is fun for you.

     

    6.  Core exercises.  I especially suggest planks, super(wo)mans and those that work your glutes (e.g., bridges).

     

    Good luck!





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • SueBVt Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 26, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 26, 2010 7:08 PM (in response to Surfing_Vol)
    Re: From road to trail...

    Similar story as the original poster. I'm in training for my first 5K, in about a month, and on a whim, I just signed up for a 5K trail race this weekend. I'm a little nervous because I've never run on a trail, but I thought it would be great for a chance of pace. Literally! I'm expecting to be really s-l-o-w, but that's not the point. I was just looking for a new and interesting experience, far better than the plain old "practice" 5K I had been planning to run.

     

    Anyway, I appreciate your comments and suggestions, Surfing_Vol. Even though it's a little late for me to practice for a race that takes place the day after tomorrow. But at least I feel better knowing that the coordination from the pickup soccer I already play may come in handy.

  • replicasky Amateur 8 posts since
    Apr 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 26, 2010 7:38 PM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    Marathon? I hope you are doing well!





    replicasky.com

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 27, 2010 5:48 AM (in response to SueBVt)
    Re: From road to trail...

    If this is your first trail race, don't be afraid about being slow.  You'll find trail runners who run like gazelles, some who run like mountain goats and others who run slowly.  If the trail is steep or really technical, you'll also find runners walking (GASP!).

     

    One note, it's considered courteous for slower runners to move aside on a wide spot on the trail to let faster runners by.  Of course this only applies on narrow (single track) trails.

     

    Don't worry about a PR.  Each trail, and each trail run, is different.

     

    And have fun!





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • SueBVt Rookie 3 posts since
    Jun 26, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 27, 2010 6:28 AM (in response to Surfing_Vol)
    Re: From road to trail...

    Thanks for the heads-up. I think it's a fairly small event, and I don't anticipate going out aggressively, so I doubt I'll have many people passing, but I will definitely keep trail etiquette in mind if anybody catches up. I was actually wondering about that.

     

    I'm just going to take it easy, focus on my footing, and try to enjoy the experience.

  • coolbikermom Legend 418 posts since
    Jan 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Aug 27, 2010 6:39 AM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    I'll be looking for some trails to run here pretty soon. It's just starting to get nice outside so I'm running back out on the streets. But trails would be awesome, especially in the fall here.

     

    Good luck with your 10k!

     

    Maybe a stupid question, but do you use different running shoes when you trail run vs street?





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    Mother's Day 5k  5/9/10  33:19

    Walk/Run for Isaiah 9/18/10 4.4k 37:26

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    Great Santa 5k 12/5/10 33:22

    Carlsbad half marathon 1/23/11

    "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Aug 27, 2010 6:55 AM (in response to coolbikermom)
    Re: From road to trail...

    I do, but these days I'm running on very technical trails -- single track with mud, roots and rocks.  When I run on fairly well packed and relatively flat trails, I'll run in regular running shoes.  The only problem then is if the sole pattern is too smooth, in which case the shoes will slide over dust and small gravel, making me less efficient and run more slowly.  Nike's old waffle soles were great for this kind of running.





    Presentation1.jpg

    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Aug 27, 2010 7:59 AM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    I was just curious what park your race is in.  I'm in Florida too and I've been thinking trying a trail run.  I know there are a couple of races in the Croom section of the Withlacoochee State Park near Brookesville but I haven't looked into any others yet.





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Aug 27, 2010 12:43 PM (in response to smbfly)
    Re: From road to trail...

    Thanks.  I'll check them out.





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

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