Trail running advice please: After saying... - Bridge to 10K

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Trail running advice please

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10

After saying trail running wasn’t for me as I was frightened of tripping I’ve changed my mind! Well a girl is allowed.

I sorted the tripping issue with work on posture. Then talking to someone on Thursday for a whole hour whilst running and reading a couple of things online during a particularly sleepless night I realised I could walk the tricky terrain if needed and also there are a whole range of terrains. So my question is what is your advice on how to get started? My husband thinks I should go with someone and he is buying me trail shoes for my birthday. I know lots of you love off-road so what are your tips please?

Thank you. 🏃🏻‍♀️😊

40 Replies
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backintime
backintimeGraduate10

I'm following this post as it's very timely for me - my routes are sort of undulating trails rather than hilly and I have been using normal shoes up until now, but with the rain and winter approaching I'm wondering what new experiences that will bring.

I have found even my trail like routes have strengthened my ankles and knees as the ground is not very flat - tree roots, stones, high bits, low bits - I have been doing ankle exercises and taking it slowly

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to backintime

That sounds good. Thank you.

cheekychipmunks
cheekychipmunksGraduate10

Oh KR, off roading is such good fun. I run a couple of trail routes local to me - one is a 3k very undulating woodland circuit which is fairly rocky and muddy (in the winter), the other is a common which has trails crisscrossing it of varying terrain and elevation.

I find it fun mixing it up, picking my way down the slopes like a mountain goat, and running faster up the hills. It’s never quick because of the terrain, but it’s a fabulous workout and great fun.

I just wear a bog standard pair of Asics trail shoes. They’re neutral (I think all trail shoes are), and it feels like I’m in 4x4 mode!

Enjoy your trail explorations. 😀👏👍🏃‍♀️

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to cheekychipmunks

Thanks cheeky chipmunks. That sounds fun. Just have to find a suitable area close by then. My friend is going with me so we can explore. 😊

cheekychipmunks
cheekychipmunksGraduate10 in reply to Knittingrunner

Have fun - don’t forget we need to know how you get on! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to cheekychipmunks

Will do. 😊

Granspeed
GranspeedGraduate10

I live on the edge of the New Forest, so almost all my running is at least partly trail or track. So far I’ve used my Brooks Adrenalin shoes with no problem, although I don’t run anything very rocky or very steep downhill. Up hill so far has always been fine, as are forest gravel tracks and woodland paths. For me the key is being willing to walk if I start to feel uncertain of safety. I call it fartleks or intervals! Definitely good for the ankle & calf strength, and excellent for interest level. Have fun. 👏🏼🎉

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to Granspeed

Thank you. Now I know it’s ok to walk and it’s not about speed I feel a whole lot more confident. 😊

Sandraj39
Sandraj39Ambassador

I love ❤️getting out in to the countryside and am very lucky that within about four minutes of running I can hit the trails! My favourite route starts on a farm road and meanders around footpaths and bridleways, an old railway line, and across fields! I can adjust the challenge to suit how I feel on the day by including or excluding hills!! It gets quite muddy when wet but I do enjoy a bit of puddle splashing and am not averse to a bit of mud! I run on my own, although I remember it felt a little strange to head off in to the countryside on my own at first. I always tell a family member where I plan to go (roughly) and always have my phone on me.🙂Trail shoes are a good idea - I run in a hybrid type trail shoe that take me happily from road to trail. I used to wear Asics Fujitrabucco's but current run in Hoka One One Challengers. I would recommend not getting goretex(waterproof) trail shoes as they 'hold' in water when you run through puddles and it splashes over the top of the shoe! A good trail shoe should drain easily!! If you don't want wet feet you can get waterproof socks. I have tried them but they ended up with holes in - so wet feet it is for me! Good luck with your ventures - this is imo the best time of year to be out running off- road - it is so beautiful!🙂

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to Sandraj39

Thank you that sounds like good advice. I was thinking about getting Goretex ones as I have walking shoes with it. But as you say they could get squelchy. Thanks. 😊

Sandraj39
Sandraj39Ambassador in reply to Knittingrunner

...it does depend on what sort of trails you are likely to run on and how deep a puddle you would be prepared to run through, I guess!😂😉

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to Sandraj39

Lol. Yes I did think that. When walking across fells etc I do try not to go above my ankles so Gortex shoes are good.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10

Some time ago I asked on here about waterproof socks and was advised to try merino socks. You get wet feet but stay warm.

The first time I tested them was at a parkun. I ran through some icy muddy water and was initially disappointed because my feet were very cold. However after a few minutes they warmed up and stayed cosy for the rest of the run.

They are my favourite socks now - I have 2 pairs. They are called Mono skin.

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to RunaroundSue

Ooh thanks. Hadn’t thought of that. Don’t they hold onto water though? Do your feet get soggy?

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to Knittingrunner

No worse than other socks, I don't think. My feet are wet but warm, so that works for me.

I have a couple of different waterproof socks for walking and they are fairly bulky and not particularly comfortable so I don't wear them often.

I did look at waterproof running socks but they looked a bit big, I wasn't sure if they would fit in my trail shoes which are a bit tighter than my other runners

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to RunaroundSue

Ok. That makes sense. Thanks. Merino is quite light too.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to Knittingrunner

I am wearing a pair right now. I think Marple parkrun will have the mud back today :)

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to RunaroundSue

Enjoy the run. Looks like it’s going to be wet in Southend this morning too. Love a bit of splashing 😂

GoGo_JoJo
GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to RunaroundSue

That's worrying Sue, your trail shoes especially need more space as going up and downhill your foot is likely to move. If anything you want more length in your trail over road shoes.

Dexshell Ultrathin waterproof socks are not particularly thick. Just the same pretty much as a thermal run sock.

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Thanks for that tip too. My am I learning a lot this morning. Looks like another sleepless night to think it all through. 😉 but I will be prepared Monday for my trip to get my shoes. 😊

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to GoGo_JoJo

No, they are fine, just tighter material so not as much give as my other shoes. They are actually hybrids, apparently.

I don't really do trail running anyway. I bought them to stay upright in the mud at my regular parkrun. Did the trick today - the mud is back, although so far not too deep.

It was great, I have actually come to like it.

Sandraj39
Sandraj39Ambassador in reply to Knittingrunner

Another vote for Dexshell socks, if you go down the waterproof route.🙂

UpTheStanley
UpTheStanleyGraduate10

As Cheeky says, trail shoes are all neutral. If your road shoes give you specific support, I recommend buying support insoles to do the same job in your trails - pricey 🙁 but in my opinion well worth it. Doing without did my achilles no good at all!

Talk to the shop about them, anyway.

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to UpTheStanley

Thank you. Yes my shoes aren’t neutral and I do wonder if I’d need insoles. My local shop is good so will have a chat with them about that. He told me off last time I went in because he saw the shoes I had on weren’t supporting my foot. 😉

GoGo_JoJo
GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to Knittingrunner

Check with them. I have support road shoes but run in neutral trail shoes and do more than twice as many mum miles in my trailies with no issues. 👍🏻

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Will do. 👍

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10 in reply to UpTheStanley

Absolutely recommend the insoles. About £40 but worth every penny to me. I have put my first pair in my walking boots when the original insoles wore out under the big toe. Much more comfortable.

I just move the other pair between different running shoes

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to RunaroundSue

Ooh. Of course. What a good idea. 😊

I would recommend a subscription to osonline maps. You can plot and save routes. Download them to your phone. Other folk also post their routes on there but I tend to do my own.

Gives you the opportunity to see distance and elevation beforehand.

GoGo_JoJo
GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to Jogunlikely

👍🏻😁 yep, it's well worth the 25 quid a year!

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to Jogunlikely

Thanks for that. That’s a good idea.

GoGo_JoJo
GoGo_JoJoModerator

Check your area for trail workshops. The main thing is to continually scan the ground ahead and to plan pretty much where every step will land.

Get in the habit of coming to a full stop to take in views, the most common trip is when your vision is distracted and away from the trail. Sometimes it feels like I don't get to fully enjoy the views but that's when stopping to just have a breather and take it in helps.

Become aware of the types of ground and what the hazards might be:

woodland is roots, pieces of trees (also might fall on you from above on windy days!), rocks, rabbit warrens

Fields: poop! Lumpy holes from cattle or horses, rabbit holes, tall grass can hide what's really below

Rocky/flinty: sharp flint chunks, ankles are easily turned on rocky and uneven surfaces, even an accidentally kicked rock can really hurt your toe! We have a lot of chalk on the Downs and that is super slippery when wet so careful footing is essential in the wet seasons.

Mud: very slippery up or downhill and even on the flat at times, will suck your shoe off if it gets the chance, can hide other hazards

Puddles: you don't know how deep or what's underneath

Grass: slippery when wet!

Sounds bad but its just about being aware but also keeping your center of gravity central. If in doubt smaller steps means you can pull your weight back onto the back foot if your front foot encounters something you didn't expect but that will also come with practice.

By all means walk over anything that worries you!

Wet chalk 😱😱😱 stops me running my favourite path in winter ☹ really steep downhill and likely to end up on my ass even walking down 😂

GoGo_JoJo
GoGo_JoJoModerator in reply to Jogunlikely

I always keep in mind that if I have to... I could shuffle down on my bum! (Had to do it years ago hill walking in snow too!) That's the sort of route I would climb up but find a different way back down through woods or grass if I could. I'm not looking forward to route planning this winter, it will be challenging for sure!

Sandraj39
Sandraj39Ambassador in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Great reply Jojo - I agree with everything here! On regular routes you even start to remember how deep your puddles are(!) - which helps when running through them (or round them!).Oh - and type of soil - one of my paths is all tree roots and clay soil which is so slippy when wet!

I used to wear supportive road shoes but had no problems with neutral trail shoes. I think the foot is constantly adjusting to the terrain, hence most trail shoes being neutral. Interestingly I now run best in low drop neutrals on all terrain (Hoka). I guess it's all about finding out what suits you. 🙂

UpTheStanley
UpTheStanleyGraduate10 in reply to Sandraj39

I was trying out that theory when I ran without the insoles that I'd already bought (doh :-) ). It wasn't a rough trail, so perhaps I wasn't having to adjust enough. But the lack of support put me on the IC with achilles issues for a fortnight - and stupidly, I knew almost immediately things weren't right, so should have stopped - but it was a tourist parkrun ……...

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to UpTheStanley

Point taken then. 😊 hope it didn’t cause you to be on the IC too long.

Knittingrunner
KnittingrunnerGraduate10 in reply to GoGo_JoJo

Thank you. That’s pretty much what I do when walking/trekking so will just have to do it quicker I guess.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSueGraduate10

I was at the checkout in Aldi this morning and saw the person in front of me put a pack of waterproof socks on the belt. She was buying a lot of cycling gear, but she let me have a quick look and they are for runners (and walkers, riders, etc).

They look similar to our Sealskin ones.

£12.99 I think.

We didn't buy any because I think I prefer to have the socks padded.

aldi.co.uk/crane-waterproof...

They seem to have good reviews from cyclists. It appears that they come in different lengths. The ones I saw were ankle length

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