Saturday, July 4, 2009

Trail Running... Practice 1 and lessons learned

As I wrote about in a previous post, I'll be doing my first trail marathon. What's the extra fun part about this... I've never run trails!!! Soo, taking the advice of my running group I thought it wise to try out a few runs on trails and see if this is something I should even be trying! Not that I can really back out now, but anywho...

I ran my first trail run on Friday. I went up to Mt. Airy in Cincinnati and found that there were actually a LOT of trails. Also, I looked online for recent trail races up there and printed off one of their online maps. I had a few difficulties but eventually it got a little easier. So...

New Discoveries and Lessons Learned...
1) Shoes! Trails will make you roll your ankles a lot more than expected.
~ Lesson learned: You DO need the correct type of shoes to keep your ankles stable. However, since I expect this to be my first and last trail marathon I'm sticking with my road kicks and hoping for the best

2) Hills! They are not the same as road races. Downhills aren't as pleasant because you're hoping not to run OFF the windy trail and uphils can be brutal!
~Lesson Learned: You WILL go slower and will have to take more care to watch your step on the downhills!

3) Footing! Since I will not be wearing stable shoes and I like to fly down hills, my footing will not be too secure. I'm sure to fall at least once!
~Lesson Learned: Keep my hands FREE! I plan on purchasing some sort of fuel belt like the one pictured. I'll have on me: GU, Sports Beans, Water bottle, IPod, possibly...
~Lesson Learned: an ankle wrap! Since I know my ankles are weak and I don't have the proper support I may carry on me a small ankle wrap just in case anything should happen mid trail.

4) Trail Size! This race will be run on a single track trail there is very little room for people to move around each other.
~Lesson Learned: DONT wear an iPod, or if I Must (which I do) keep the volume low enough to hear someone approaching!
That is all for now... Happy TRAIL Running!


  1. A few of my observations:

    Hmmm .... Weren't you the one scolding me about proper shoes, Ms.? ;)

    I can have my iPod full-blast. I'll be in the back!

    My two trail races had parts with very treacherous footing ... lots of opportunities to roll them ankles! In the half marathon, all the really bad footing came early, so if you got injured, it would be a long, ugly day.

    You won't set a PR on Saturday. With my bad knee, I'lltake anything under 8 hours.

    Make sure your fuel holds enough. Some of the water stations are a long way off!

    Enjoy! I bet this won't be your last trail marathon. When some trail marathon comes up in a state you need at the right time, you'll be there!

  2. Kudos for doing your research! Sounds like you know what you're getting in to. Good luck!

  3. AWESOME! I'm so excited to hear about the trail run marathon! I LOVE trail running, so it will be interesting to hear your take on it - esp after 26.2 miles.

    GOOD LUCK!!! :)

  4. I have done a few trail running in the past. Believe it or not, I have made several falls in one day of running in the trail. I have gotten quite a number of bruises on my arms and legs. I considered it my badge of honor.

  5. ooh I'm jealous of everyone who has trails nearby to run on! I can't wait to hear about this race!

  6. You learned great lessons.! Without the proper shoes, a person might be exposed to the risk of injury and getting tired faster.