10k trail race

I have been competing in sprint triathlons and 5ks this year but I've recently signed up for a 10k trail run.
I plan on my longer training runs taking place on trails and hopefully I will be able to run the course a couple of times before the event.
I would like advice on what major differences I can expect with the trail race as opposed to those races I've completed in the city. Will there be room on the trails for passing? and what is the etiquette on doing so?
I am running in the Lookout Mountain 10k if you want to check it out online. It takes place Dec. 20th so I'm already getting geared up for the colder weather.
Any advice is appreciated.

Replies

  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    Every trail is different, so it'll be hard to say. I've run some that were largely double track and passing was easy... I've run others that were primarily singletrack and passing was much harder. I treat passing on foot much the same way I treat passing on the bike. I wait for a time when I know I can get around the person and hold that position, then call out "on your left" as I'm about to make the pass.

    As for what's different... 2 primary things. 1) trail running is almost always slower than road running assuming similar elevation changes. 2) trail running is generally more technical, so you have to pay attention to your stride and to your footing.

    Depending on the trail, the lateral stresses can be really hard on your joints. Despite the softer terrain, I'm frequently more beat up after a tough trail run than I am after a long road run. Also depending on the trail, actual trail shoes can be VERY beneficial.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    jacksonpt wrote: »
    Every trail is different, so it'll be hard to say. I've run some that were largely double track and passing was easy... I've run others that were primarily singletrack and passing was much harder. I treat passing on foot much the same way I treat passing on the bike. I wait for a time when I know I can get around the person and hold that position, then call out "on your left" as I'm about to make the pass.

    As for what's different... 2 primary things. 1) trail running is almost always slower than road running assuming similar elevation changes. 2) trail running is generally more technical, so you have to pay attention to your stride and to your footing.

    Depending on the trail, the lateral stresses can be really hard on your joints. Despite the softer terrain, I'm frequently more beat up after a tough trail run than I am after a long road run. Also depending on the trail, actual trail shoes can be VERY beneficial.

    ^^^Yup

    Also, you may encounter hills at a more significant grade than the road. It's ok and normal to walk these. Also, it's very important that you leave with what you brought in. If you do gels or whatever, put the empty packet in your pocket - don't leave it on the trail.
  • amgreenwell
    amgreenwell Posts: 1,268 Member
    Okay, thanks. Yes, the terrain on this race is very hilly and the last mile is going to be a major climb. I think it is single track so I'll have to figure out the passing thing.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    Elevation is only part of it. Some trails are really well groomed and not very technical. Some aren't groomed at all and are incredibly technical. This is what makes trail running different... having to deal with rocks and roots, uneven footing, soft/muddy sections, etc.
  • ephiemarie
    ephiemarie Posts: 264 Member
    edited November 2014
    I've done 2 trail races on fairly well-groomed trails (state parks), and I agree with everything posted by jacksonpt above. If you can run the race course a couple times, that would give you a big advantage and a better idea what to expect. I always pass on the left and verbally announce it if the person in front of me doesn't seem to hear me coming. If you've never run on trails before, I would suggest cutting your first trail practice run a little shorter than you would typically run on a road. I was very surprised by how sore I was after my first couple trail runs! And I also agree that trail shoes make a big difference. They are extra grippy and have less cushion to prevent potential ankle rolling. Good luck and have fun!

    Also, prepare yourself mentally to have a slower pace! I was disappointed with my finish time for my first trail run because it was 00:45/mile slower than my typical road pace. Still won my division though ;)
  • ShibaEars
    ShibaEars Posts: 3,928 Member
    jacksonpt wrote: »

    Depending on the trail, the lateral stresses can be really hard on your joints. Despite the softer terrain, I'm frequently more beat up after a tough trail run than I am after a long road run. Also depending on the trail, actual trail shoes can be VERY beneficial.

    Yes, I wish I'd been more educated about this. I did my first 10K trail run this past summre, and ended up with a foot injury because I thought I'd be okay with my regular shoes (they are a little old though) and not too much extra training. :\

  • rmdaly
    rmdaly Posts: 250 Member
    Definitely run some trails before the race. In some trail races, you can walk up hills faster than you can run.

    When I run and get tired, I don't lift my feet as much. On a trail, that means that I trip over rocks and fall easily. This doesn't happen on the roads.
  • amgreenwell
    amgreenwell Posts: 1,268 Member
    Thanks everyone!! I'll be training both on the treadmill and on trails. I'll let you know how it goes :)