Laura reprised as Trail running is GO!!!

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! :-)

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  • Well done you for hitting the trails! I think it is great for improving balance and core stability and yes it does take longer to cover the same distance on road. On the plus side it is kinder to the joints (as long as you don't twist your ankle or similar!) I mix up road and trail with my running but trail is what I love best as I have some beautiful places to run where I live. Enjoy!πŸ™‚

  • Enjoy? Definitely! Thanks Sandra :-)

  • This is really interesting as I will be braving some off-road running in the (near) future. I'm a bit concerned about it because I am clumsy and not very stable on my feet at the best of times so heaven help me when the ground becomes uneven :D I had expected the slower time, but what you say about the greater upper-body involvement is a bit of a surprise - thank you for the warning! I am also waiting for the ground to dry out a bit so that I don't sink into the mud and stick - or slide in an undignified fall and have to squelch back to the car looking like I've had an accident :D

    Thanks for the report, and I'm glad you liked it!

  • Well I don't want to overplay the upper body thing but even though I'd had warnings that it would happen, it was a bit of a surprise as to how QUICK it hit me. Having said that, once I'd been aware of it for a couple of minutes, I forgot about it (too busy looking where I was going) and haven't had any post-run issues - unlike the knee aches I get after road running. At this time of the year I think I'm going to decide whether to trail run or not by the weather forecast. I run Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays and the forecast next Monday is pants - so I'm going to trail run today again as it's half way decent.

    I might be road running ALL next week if the forecast is to be believed (which it isn't of course!). Hope your trail ambitions go to plan Annie and hey, pick a quiet trail and no-one will see you fall over (but there again there won't be anyone around to pick you up either!). If you get muddy you'll just look like your a pro!

    Enjoy! :-)

  • You might want to make most of your runs off-road πŸ™‚ The street has so many distractions, traffic being the most troublesome.

    Some of my best trail runs have been in the rain. Makes you glad to be alive πŸ˜€

    Have fun πŸ™‚

  • "Some of my best trail runs have been in the rain."

    Well, today I had trouble with wind! No, not that! It got a bit gusty and the trees started shedding some debris on me :-) Had my Strava App on today - 5k in 42 mins. Captain Slow hits the trail! Lol :-) :-) :-)

  • It was like autumn on the trail today! Lovely though. Well, apart from it being cold

  • YES you're right! Hoodies Rule!

  • On your next trail run try placing your hand on your abs to check out how engaged they are πŸ˜€ You use them without even being aware of it πŸ‘

  • abs eh? I didn't know that but I could do with ABS sometimes to stop me skidding on the mud! :-)

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