Struggling in the mud

Successfully graduated back in November, but was living somewhere relatively flat so running was straight forward! Now living in a very hilly village and got frustrated with the ups and downs so started running in the local country park.....I've absolutely loved it - woodland trails and open spaces, amazing. But.... thanks to the great british weather, I now find myself mainly slipping and sliding through the mud, can't get my pace sorted and just feel as though I am going backwards....

Any suggestions for running in the mud - or should I just go back to the hills and the road?

16 Replies

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  • sorry cant help with the trail running , i assume you have trail shoes ? There are plenty of others who will offer advise etc here :D

  • I can't advise you either, sorry. I'm a real townie and like my concrete! I think Rob is right, you need special shoes for that kind of terrain. Good luck x

  • Yup as others have said, trail shoes make a lot of difference. I run off road all the time and always wear a trail shoe.

    (Do ask Realfoodieclub or Olsbean to sort out your graduate badge BTW)

  • Trail shoes do make a difference for off road running, but it is virtually impossible to run through mud, so wellies would probably be the most appropriate footwear. The best thing is to explore all your local running options and alter your routes according to conditions. My current times on my normal home 5k route are about five minutes longer than my PB, almost entirely due to the mud. I look forward to it drying up and seeing my times reduce again, hopefully to a new PB.

    Keep running keep smiling

  • Hi gems 44

    We must have graduated much the same time. I too have just been persuaded to do a couple of runs off road. Gosh what a difference, it so much harder because the push off phase of the run is a propulsive .. So if you have conquered that before it turned so muddy you have done fabulously .

    Hills are a whole other thing and at some point need to be challenged , I haven't managed that either. I would suggest you do both- you can grandly call you hilly road runs your interval training as you change pace. Trail shoes for the muddy runs is a good idea. I want to try and conquer both too - but I fear you are ahead of me.

    Why don't you do both and use juicy ju mantra of " push that body , punish that body" up that first hill.

    Keep posting and I will try to keep up with you

    Best of luck

  • Hi all,

    Thank you! - Stupidly I don't have trail shoes - I didn't even know they existed!!! (it appears there is a whole world of running kit that I never knew about) I have some decent running trainers and I thought it important that I continue to use those as they give me the support needed. What a wally! Thanks all for an obvious fix!

    Juliejam - thanks for your positive words, I think you are right - will try and do a bit of 'interval' training on the hills around here and see if viewing it like that helps! How are you getting on without Laura to keep you going, I have found it really difficult to motivate myself without someone coaching me through and telling me I have done 10 mins or have only 5 to go!

  • All my training from day one as been on hilly roads, ( Roman Bank, nightmare.).I always looked at it as more of a challenge than a negative. Your times will suffer but it builds more stamina. Go back to the hilly roads and when the weather picks up go to the trails and woods. Good luck Gem.

  • Thank you - hills it is (and maybe some new trail shoes!)

  • I've said it here before and I'll say it here again, no doubt. All hills are downhill. Uphill doesn't exist. It's just that occasionally you'll have to do some of those downhills in the wrong direction. ;)

    Seriously, I do a lot of my running on "undulating" territory. For the reverse downhill sections I just shorten my stride and grit my teeth. It's not long before you find that you are taking them in your stride. Now in many ways I prefer to go up, rather than down because going down the steeper sections give me problems moderating my pace.

  • I just got back from about 10k mapmyrun.com/workout/882797743 through a complete mudfest in some Inov-8 X-Talon 212 fell running shoes (as recommended by an ex colleague for ice and snow). This morning was a mix of road, very muddy/frozen paths and field edges. Didn't slip at all and felt very secure.

  • I run mostly off road (it's more beautiful, and less knackering to hips and knees) and tried on some innov8s but didn't get on with them as my toes are really wide. Went for salomon fellraisers instead and I love them. Have never fallen over in them, even descending over wet scree and running through heather with bog underneath. :)

  • Thanks Stephen - I will look them up.

  • I prefer trail running as it's easier on the legs and feet. I know it's challenging on the country park in winter as you have to wade through mud sometimes to get to the trail itself. Aaaaagh. Long running pants are definitely required. If you wear trail shoes they allow the wet to run out. You can wear waterproof tight socks (skins) to prevent the cold shock of water hitting your feet. Running trails is slower than Tarmac but it does help with fitness as it's harder work. When you do hit the road you'll be quicker. There is also the benefit of it being safer, quieter, and probably more scenic.

    If you have a car you can drive yourself to a place where you can do some road running. I do that now and again if I fancy a change of scenery

    Just stick with it, it won't always be dark at six. Spring is around the corner, lighter nights will soon be here and the trails will dry up a bit. The extra energy you expend in running the trails will have paid off and you'll be running better than ever. Look on the bright side!

  • I was running on Tarmac in my trail shoes today; my road shoes having died. It was so wierd. It felt like running in football boots! On a steep downhill Tarmac section it was like having ice skates on. LOL

  • Thanks Miss Wobble - good advice and positive words! After the torrential rain today, I think it will be roads for the next few days anyway!

  • My trail shoes arrived yesterday and did my first muddy run - they were brilliant! Thanks for advice, greatly appreciated.

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