trail running

hi! i live in essex but want to add some trail running into my schedule. i realise that essex isnt famous for this so would love to hear of any beginners trail running that i could try! oh an i the lady who recommended the neo shin guards, they work wonders an am injury free so far! thank u x 1,000! jane


  • Jayne - just find yourself some local woods and footpaths and go for a run along them, it's as simple as that.  Get an OS map of your area and start to join up the footpaths to make longer routes.  You'll soon get to know all the footpaths and trails for miles around.  If you've got a Garmin or similar even better as you can go exploring yourself, get the maps up on screen then look at the OS map to work out where you've been and how you can make the routes longer.

  • Sunluvva's exactly right. I don't know which part of Essex you live in, but I used to live near the Herts/Essex/Cambs border and that area's absolutely riddled with footpaths/bridleways which makes it great for trail running. Get the 1:25000 OS map for where you live and follow the green dotted lines!

  • brill thank u. i wear v built up stability shoes. im guessing i would turn my ankle in these on trails. should i look at diff shoes for this as i did once turn over on the road
  • You don't need such supportive shoes off road, the surface is generally softer so no need for so much cushioning and its usually uneven so your feet need to be able to respond to the uneven terrain, it's the best thing for strengthening your ankles image  You can also get Trail Running magazine - it's out every other month - and it has a race diary in there.  You can stipulate off road/trail if you search on the events page here too.

  • ok brill than you :0)
  • just out of interest, what trail shoes do u like most. ive had a peek at innov8
  • If I'm just running local woodland trails I go for trail versions of road shoes - I like brooks adrenaline but I've got others.  If I'm doing really hilly muddy slippery tough stuff I usually wear my Salomans.  I tried innov8 but they didn't fit me too well,.  You can wear nomal shoes if the paths you're running aren't too slippery 

  • I was in Essex on holiday in the summertime, stayed near Maldon in Steeple Bay holiday park and ran on St Peter's Way every day. The path goes all the way round the coast and it is brilliant. I ran around Mayland and then towards Bradwell on Sea. I fell in love with the area and vow to come back to it soon. The trails were great but in places badly maintained. I would equip myself with good explorer os map, orange ones with 1:25000 scale and recce the local footpaths ans trails. Good luck, it's a brilliant area.

  • well near my house we have something called the flitch way. i used to run along it when training for london as its a straight lone disused railway. its nothing like trail running as its too smooth and hard but every now and then are metal bridges. i tripped coming off on one in my road sacouny pro grid stabil shoes, twisted my ankle and took 7 weeks to heal so i know my shoes wont be any good

    maldon isnt far so i will get a map and check it out! thank u
  • jane harwood 3 wrote (see)
    just out of interest, what trail shoes do u like most. ive had a peek at innov8

    I use Inov8s for fell-running and get along with them really well, but I also know a few people who don't like them at all. To start with you could do worse than trying Adidas Kanadias for traily stuff - they can be had for around £40 and should do you just fine - I've used them for everything from my off-road run to work to full-on Lakes fell races and I can't fault them. But in the summer (i.e. when it's not muddy), for trail stuff I just wear cheapo road shoes.

  • thank you. ??40 seems reasonable for a first pair. ill take a look. do u have to buy larger as u do for long distance road. i am a shoe size 3 but i buy a 5 for all the black toe, long distance reasons :0)
  • I wear Saloman Trail Pro 5 shoes,which have pronation control, for my training runs in the forest. They are a hybrid, and, therefore, suitable for the inevitable times when I have to run on roads to get to and from the forest. My previous trail shoes were Salomon Speed Cross 2, which were unsuitable for roads, as the hard surface wore down the rubber lugs.

  • thank u, i have lots to look at now :0)
  • i have ordered the adidas pair they were only ??36. quite fancied the saucony pereguine but they were a bit pricey for my first test pair. so thanks for all the advice :0)
  • Hi jane just wanted to say hi and welcome to the great world of trail running, if your in Essex why not come and try Epping forest it has miles of bridal path and if your feeling adventurous miles more single track.The trail running is superb here it has everything to offer from flat routes to winding rooty singletrack with steep can get a forrestry commision map for path info or look on map my run we have a group on there called Epping trail runners which features some of our routes, it's a superb area to run come and give it a go.

  • If you've got weak ankles you might want to invest in a wobble board. Or, at best, consider some ankle strengthening exercises. The trails are the place to be. image
  • Hi Jane,

    As you're near flitch way I'm guessing you're spitting distance from Hatfield Forest, which I reckon would also be good for some off-road running. My wife and I take the kids there at the weekend but I've been having thoughts about going for a trot round at some point.

    Good running!

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