To Trail Run or Not to Trail Run

Trail Running - This is not me! (Courtesy Ultra Running Company)
Trail Running – This is not me! (Courtesy Ultra Running Company)

I’ve been contemplating whether or not I want to do some trail running… Admittedly, I am a little excited about it right now because there is a half marathon later in the year in Yosemite National Park. I love Yosemite! My son (almost 3) has never been there, which means it has been well over three years since my last visit. I think I’m overdue.

I did some light reading on training running and came across a Runner’s World article that scared me off a bit. Trail running is more demanding, slower, and the author recommended trekking poles! Yikes. I’m already slow and I can’t carry poles… For real. That’s like asking Danger-prone Daphne here for a medical emergency…

So, I am asking fellow runners… What do YOU recommend? How differently do you train on trail versus pavement? What trail shoes do you like?

I feel like I have enough time to get in shape by October, that’s when the half marathon is. And, only about half of it is on rough terrain. So they say! 😉

I’ve already looked into renting a house and taking the family for a trip. It’s all very doable and seems fun. It might be nice to do something different!

16 thoughts on “To Trail Run or Not to Trail Run

  1. I’m sure you have already started trail running by now but I would say that it is a million times better than any other running. For me (and my knees) the idea of running on flat ground is a tidge boring and the repetitive motion is incredibly hard on my joints. Trail running on the other hand keeps more of your muscles engaged, giving you a better work out and a more satisfying run, without the damage of pounding pavement. Also, as far as training, basically anything. I went out to Utah this summer and did 130 miles of trails without doing any trail-specific training. All I had been doing was normal cardio and strength training that I do just to stay fit. Anyway, hope your run went well!

  2. Trail running is a great thing to start. I got tired of doing half marathons and took of trsil running and fell in love. It is slower, but such a great challenge. The hills and obstacles keep you focused and it makes you feel great!

    1. Cool! There are a lot of trails around here… I am looking forward to getting started. In the near future, I’ll be getting trail shoes. My husband cringes a little when I go into the running shop, I think. 😉

  3. You don’t have to have poles or trail shoes to start trail running christinoac! Nor do you need to trail run twice a week. Just keep up your normal run training and throw in some short hill sprints and lunges then try 10km on your local trail on the weekend to get your feet. You’ll know pretty soon that that’s where you really want to be!

      1. I do keep my toenails pretty short, but this made me wonder… Any particular reason? Do trails have added risk of breaking them off or something on rough terrain?

      2. It becomes a problem when there is a lot of down hill running involved. Even with the best fitting shoes, toenails that aren’t kept short will get lifting and cramming against the front of the shoe or even just your socks. You won’t necessarily feel it happening but the result is bruising under the nail which will lead to loss of the nail. Small toenails grow back pretty quick. I lost a big toe nail on the Speights Coast to Coast in NZ and it took more than a year to grow back!

  4. Hi, I love trail running!! Highly recommend adding trails to your program definitely works body differently in a strong and very good way!! I wear altra zero drop shoes, they are very good and help strengthen your feet and ankles. Happy running!!

    1. There are trails nearby… My half marathon training had me driving to a nice paved trail and the dirt trails aren’t much further, so it’s doable on the weekend. I read that you should do trail running 2 x week, though. That may be a challenge…

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