Trail Running

I'm a very new runner, having only started in January this year. But, have got up to a half marathon in just over two hours. However, I have just taken up trail running and my speed has dropped by about 1 mph, is this normal? At the moment I feel that I just want to be careful and not fall into a rabbit hole, but at the same time I want to keep on pushing myself to improve. Any tips?


  • Hi Ian...obviously, trails are going to be harder to run than roads - obstacles, undulations, variations in surface, soft surfaces, stones... it's just impossible to compare the two.    Trail running can definitely make you a stronger and faster road runner, or just enjoy it for what it is - running in nature!

  • I tried running through the local woods. I was unable to run much at all. I felt like it wasn't proper running. Trying not to fall flat on my face in deep mud. The fields aren't much better. If I only added 1 min per mile onto my times I'd be happy.

    I do wonder why this trail running malarkey is so popular.

  • Does a tractor have the same tryes as a car for going across fields?


    Buy some off road shoes.

  • yes its normal for trails to be slower than road running.

  • And trail running is so pretty image

  • depends on the level of mud Booey image

  • Very true M's Mum image just keep looking at the scenery not your shoes haha

  • ...and fall flat on your face. image

  • done that! image

  • I still have that experience to look forward to image

  • I've just completed the ullswater 14k which was my third trail run and I'm completely addicted!! Yes my times suffered compared to the road but the view is way better, its very sociable ( at events) and I'm a much stronger runner mostly due to the ankle deep mud, rock hopping and leaping over tree roots!!

  • Trail running is my favourite. You never know what's coming next and have to keep your wits about you. Don't compare times with road races just enjoy. Trail races are usually in beautiful locations and no two are the same. Also all those uneven surfaces help make your legs and ankles stronger.

  • I tend to run cross-country as my lsr. Then I don't worry about the time and get to see the countryside around my home. 

  • longboy, BeckyS & Old Colin, that's spot on, i do the same now. Trail, hills, mud, fields and lanes. Forget the pace, you will become a much stronger runner adding a little off road! Did my first multi terrain race a couple of weeks back, beats road races hands down.

  • Couldn't agree more. Did hell up north the other week and it was far better than doing a road race and far tougher. Road races now seem easy by comparison. As for tips Ian get some off road shoes and get used to sticking them in the washing machine.

  • Has anyone done the Asics Human Race Mudman before? It's on Saturday 8 December in Camberley and I'm very tempted to get wet and muddy. Did the Grim Challenge a few years back and really enjoyed it especially falling over in the mud!

  • Anyone who fancies a brand new trail experience try googling "", a full on adventure weekend in the beautifull Scottish borders, not just trail running but road and mountain biking as well as walking and kids activities. Something for everyone!

    Regards, Stewart

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