Running on roads, and shoe query!: Hello! I... - Bridge to 10K

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Running on roads, and shoe query!


Hello! I did my first race for over 10 years on Saturday - Dark Moors, a 5 mile trail run around Moors Valley Country Park in the dark, it's a lovely big pine forest just north of Bournemouth (totally recommend its park run!). It was so much fun and a wonderful chilled out atmosphere. I'd heard good things about White Star Running (who organised the event) from people at work, and was really pleased I gave it a go. I've booked a load more races over the year to have nice goals to work towards.

So onto my question! Apart from a couple of one off things, I've only ever really done trail running, all my runs are on a heath behind my house (I do a lot of running up, along, and down the hill in the photo!) - hilly, extremely boggy, muddy, sandy, rocky, gravelly, dodging tree roots, all good outdoorsy stuff. I love a bit of mud! My problem is though, I have two 10 mile races in February - that are both on *roads*! Oh no! I am not really sure what the difference is on a road, am I going to get injured? I've been doing 10 mile trail runs already, I built up the distance from 10k and have been doing a 10 mile one each week for the last month. Should I practice a bit on a road?

Also, do I need different shoes? I have two pairs of trail shoes and some trainers I used to use for the gym, are any of those good or should I look at getting some proper road shoes? Many thanks! :)

16 Replies

Nearly all my running has been on tarmac using ‘road’ running shoes. I certainly wouldn’t run in gym shoes unless they are actually running shoes. There’s a lot less surface ‘give’ than on trail and shoes tend to be springier to compensate. I guess ultimately it depends on whether you can afford more shoes, but you will find it more comfortable and be at lower risk of injury if you run in shoes designed for the job.

wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to Coddfish

Yes good point! Might have a look at some road shoes then as I think they might be a useful thing to have! 😄


Blimey, with all that wonderful off road, you’ll be like billy whizz on the flat!

However, I’d also be cautious of running on road in trail shoes, especially for such a long distance, plus you might find a few niggles, purely because of the unchanging hard surface......e,g repeat, repeat, repeat on your feet and legs.....

I am very lucky to have choices of surface, and love my trails - not quite as challenging as yours, but last year I did a 14k road event after mainly only being off road, and did find towards the end I was getting some slight aches due to the repetitive stride/steps.......nothing major, I just noticed having a road half coming up in March, I’m increasing my road running - mind you this time of year some of my trails get trail shoes are ‘hybrids’ able to do a mix, but I wouldn’t use them for road only....

I’d advise going to a proper shop and get a gait analysis and proper advice, you’ve built up great strength and ability, for a short distance your trails may be ok, but for 10 road miles, I’d definitely look at getting some decent road shoes.

Good luck with it


wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to Madge50

I was wondering whether the hard surface would be more impact on my legs than I am used to, I recall university days of getting shin splints playing rugby on frozen pitches! I did a different park run to normal on Christmas Day that was road/tarmac path based, and for 5k in my trail shoes that was fine, but that was a one off thing so not sure how longer distances on a surface I'm not used to would feel :)

Yes it is so wet at the moment a lot of the trail routes are unusable, it's tricky when you run around a corner and you are met with a foot deep lake where a bog has overflowed across the path so you have to go back and find a different way, which usually involves a surprise hill :D

Going to try the running club at work next week, they do all road running so it might just get me a bit used to it maybe! I hadn't gone before as I was working at another site on Tuesdays but I have swapped the days around. Might be good to get a bit of practice!

I think looking at some proper road shoes would be the way forward, I have been recommended a nice little running shop locally that can do the gait analysis so that is handy, might pop there on Monday after my meetings :)


We drove past West Moors on the way to Dorchester yesterday and I thought of the parkrun there. What has happened to me? It must be a great one to do. I loved Poole Park , your next local one, last summer but this is very different. You are going to be very fast on the road if you currently run just trails I think.

Not only could you suffer injury by running in trail shoes on the road, but you could also ruin your trail shoes on the hard surface, so I’d definitely go for a gait analysis and buy some road shoes.

Have fun.

wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to Dexy5

Moors Valley is my favourite park run! I go to Poole Park a lot as it is next to one of the sites I work at (it's a nice place to eat your lunch!) but I have only done the park run there once on Christmas Day. I normally do Upton Country Park (my home/closest one) or Moors Valley because they are trail routes - Brockenhurst is really good too :)

I would be interested to see the difference in speed if roads are faster, I did my 10 mile boggy run yesterday in 2 hours so maybe I can get my time down a bit :D

I wouldn't want to ruin my lovely muddy trail shoes on the scary roads, so it's off to the running shop! :D

CoddfishGraduate10 in reply to wyrdwolf

Looking forward to trying Moors Valley and Brockenhurst parkruns some time this year. Both are just about within an hour’s drive of us and we used to visit Moors Valley a lot when our offspring were children. This year is going to be the year I crack trail, well at least the end of it that is on well formed tracks and isn’t too hilly. I think both parkruns fit that description, whereas Queen Elizabeth, whilst nearer to me is a tad too hilly for comfort.

Dexy5Graduate10 in reply to Coddfish

⛰🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️not long to go now......

wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to Coddfish

I now want to try this Queen Elizabeth park run! 😄

Dexy5Graduate10 in reply to wyrdwolf

15th Feb if you want to join us 😀⛰🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️

CoddfishGraduate10 in reply to Dexy5

Both Moors Valley and Brockenhurst parkruns are on the easier end of the trail spectrum, ie on well formed paths and a little less undulating than QE. We are thinking of including both in this year’s tourist plan. Maybe a team effort at some point?

Dexy5Graduate10 in reply to Coddfish

Yes there are lots in our area we haven’t done - closer still is Whitely. And you haven’t done the lovely Southampton and Poole yet. A flexible southern tourist plan sounds a good idea.


Hi wyrdwolf , that’s a lovely photo but it’s made me puffed just thinking about walking up it never mind running it!!!! In my humble opinion i would be tempted to change shoes, I road run all the time so have never needed trail shoes but there’s a lot of trail runners on here and i think if they were to do some road running they wouldn’t wear their trails...Why not visit a running shop and ask for some advice?? Or even a bit of research on the thing you don’t want with all these wonderful runs planned is injury x

wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to Mummycav

Yes the dreaded big hill has some steep paths going up it but it's much flatter when you get to the top!

I have heard good things about the running shop so will go in there and ask about shoes! 😄


We used to live in Dorset. Moors Valley is great! Advice given by others sounds good. I have a mixed terrain shoe because I run on the road to get to the beginning of the trail I use regularly. I would also recommend road shoes for those distances, you don’t want to get injured! Best of luck 😊

wyrdwolfGraduate10 in reply to skysue16

Mixed terrain shoes sound interesting too, I will ask at the running shop! 😄

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