Well, despite my planned course being full of sheep AND/or sub-aqua, the temptation of trying my first trail run was too much as soon as my new Trail Running Shoes came through the post.
The weather was so fantastic here in Wiltshire yesterday lunchtime that I HAD to give it a go. I needed somewhere else to try them out though as I didn't want to scare 200+ lambs and ewes by my fairly high-profile pounding through their sanctuary (didn't want to risk falling into tons of sheep poo either!)
I'm lucky to have a few choices and although it's not exactly rural trail running at it's best, I opted to run round the local solar farm which consists of four fields of varying size. I had no idea what sort of time or distance would be involved so I decided to replay the C25K W9 podcast to give me time checks without me taking the risk of checking my watch every few minutes. As I've been road running for about 45 minutes recently I thought listening to "You and Julie" on the warm-up plus the 30 minute run would be about right for a tentative first run so off we set having completed a short walk to the Solar Farm.
Well, the first thing I noticed is exactly what some of you told me would happen - upper body involvement way over that of road running. After 10 minutes my shoulders were aching even though I wasn't really conscious of putting extra effort into it. I guess you are naturally compensating for the uneven ground by offsetting it with arm and shoulder effort - interesting though!
The next thing that became obvious was that I wasn't finding it as exhausting as road running because my pace was so much slower. I doubt if I covered more than 4k during what eventually turned into my normal 45 minutes, long after Laura had told me how well I had done! I could have done a bit more but I have no desire to push myself further than that at this stage. Looking back at the Fitbit results confirmed what I was feeling - less time at peak by a long margin over road running. I don't think that's a bad thing at all - not sure if running for 40 mins at peak heart rate is a good thing for a 62 year old with a possible heart condition - Lol!!!
Anyway, I'm no longer a trail virgin although running round solar panels is not quite what I have in mind for the future. I think I'll run alternately road/trail (conditions permitting) and see how it goes but for those committed trail runners out there, yup, I see where your coming from - and I like it!