Trail Racing

Ok Ok so I just signed up for a local trail race that i've been toying with for months and months. Only thing is I really don't do trail. the only trail stuff I've done was a half that was dirt and there were about 2 miles of another half that were trail. I signed up for it just for fun so however it goes it goes but i'm pretty sure i'm going to have my *kitten* handed to me and thats ok. I have a full marathon 3 weeks later which is my focus. I'm going to try and hit trails before the race for my shorter runs. I thought about buying trail shoes but considering I don't do much trail running and the race is kinda soon to get situated with new running shoes might be a stretch. Any tips? http://www.flagstaffnordiccenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HalfMarathon.pdf

Replies

  • ContraryMaryMary
    ContraryMaryMary Posts: 1,645 Member
    No tips, but it sounds like fun! I've done a few off road runs and used my road shoes which were mostly ok, except for when it was wet then it was simply dangerous and quite scary.
  • TomZot
    TomZot Posts: 165 Member
    I would suggest running at least part of the course a few times beforehand. The difference in terrain and footing take some getting used to.
  • timeasterday
    timeasterday Posts: 1,368 Member
    I would suggest running at least part of the course a few times beforehand. The difference in terrain and footing take some getting used to.

    ^^This

    Knowing the course ahead of time has always helped me a lot for a trail race. If the trail is not very technical you will be fine with normal running shoes. But be prepared to get them a bit dirty. Have fun and keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you at all times.
  • Linli_Anne
    Linli_Anne Posts: 1,360 Member
    I would suggest running at least part of the course a few times beforehand. The difference in terrain and footing take some getting used to.

    ^^This

    Knowing the course ahead of time has always helped me a lot for a trail race. If the trail is not very technical you will be fine with normal running shoes. But be prepared to get them a bit dirty. Have fun and keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you at all times.

    All of this!

    I did go out and buy a pair of trail shoes - but, I signed up for a trail race trifecta, and I was doing a mud run so it made sense to have them. I especially appreciated their extra grip in some of the wet parts of the trails.
  • sarahc001
    sarahc001 Posts: 477 Member
    There's definitely a learning curve with trail running, especially if the trail is technical. Running parts of the course even a few times will make the race experience more pleasant. Last year I ran a race on the Appalachian trail, on a particularly rocky section. I did four training runs on it, and each time it was easier. On race day I was passing people who were picking their way through the rocks and who clearly were good runners, but unfamiliar with the terrain.

    As for shoes, there's no need to get "trail" shoes. I wear hokas, and have a trail and road version. I don't run roads; I just like the ride of the road shoes later in a race. I would wear them exclusively except for the fact that they have almost no tread at all, which is dicey in mud. Most road shoes (the Asics I used to wear) are fine. David Horton, one of the most accomplished trail runners ever, wrote this: http://www.extremeultrarunning.com/1stultra.htm. Scroll down to equipment. He wears a nike air pegasus. Hell, read the whole thing; it might inspire you. Have fun at the race!
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    First trail race and it's a half marathon? Bless your heart :)

    My first one was an 8 miler and it made me swear off of trail running for a year. Nothing wrong with investing in a pair of trail shoes - even if running trails isn't your thing, you always have a pair of new hiking shoes out of it!
  • runfatmanrun
    runfatmanrun Posts: 1,090 Member
    Like has been said, you probably don't need new shoes. Looking at the pdf, you have some decent elevation gain for a half so make sure you get some hill/speed work in. Also, make sure you run some trails similar to what you are about to run; trails can take a toll on muscle groups that arent worked as much on the road.

    Biggest thing, have fun, enjoy the people and the scenery, and remember it's ok to walk...and fall :)
  • DavidMartinez2
    DavidMartinez2 Posts: 840 Member
    I would expect most the trail will be horse trails and the like, you shouldn't need trail shoes. Definitely keep an eye out for a course preview or head out there with someone who knows the trails for some training runs. You must get some hill training in.
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
    First trail race and it's a half marathon? Bless your heart :)

    Mine was a 30k...

    I'd usually ask someone who's run the same race before (or who lives in the area) what shoes are most suitable for the course and weather conditions, but my preference would be for lightweight road shoes if there was likely to be any significant stretches of road or hard trail.
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
    First trail race and it's a half marathon? Bless your heart :)

    Mine was a 30k...

    Yeah...that was my baptismal distance, too.... and it helped tremendously that I ran those trails a couple dozen times before I actually ran the race....