1

Trail running in prep for half marathon (Read 1248 times)


Big Daddy

    I'm running my first half marathon in about a month.  I did my long run (ten glorious miles) this weekend on a rails-to-trails path near my home.  It's crushed limestone and nice to run on, but I'm a bit concerned about spending too many of my long runs on this surface and then doing my half on the road.  Should I be concerned?

     

    Thanks for any advice.

    2013 Goal: Avoid Injury, drop 15 lbs

      I'm running my first half marathon in about a month.  I did my long run (ten glorious miles) this weekend on a rails-to-trails path near my home.  It's crushed limestone and nice to run on, but I'm a bit concerned about spending too many of my long runs on this surface and then doing my half on the road.  Should I be concerned?

       

      Thanks for any advice.

       

      I wouldn't be. Other than the dust, I don't find trails like that to be much different than the road. Good luck in your half.

      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

      AllenCaldwell


        I've been using trail races for tempo and speed work.  I'll be doing my 3rd Half this fall so...my uneducated opinion, is it can't hurt.  I still try to keep my long runs on a "hard" surface that would be similar to the course.

        Goals:

        1. Sub 23:00 5k

        2. Double 2011 mileage (800+ miles)

        3. Run 3 HM and 1 Trail HM

        4. Just...Run...

          hey dad!  first off congrats on your decision to run your 1st HM!

           

          I have 2 comments on using trails for your training, ok maybe 3.

          1.  I have found most rails to trails paths not much softer than roads & sometimes almost harder surfaces & sometimes have to deal with gravel.   should not make much difference

           

          2.  if running on trails keeps you motivated then by all means keep running on trails.  far more interesting & enjoyable!

           

          3. with the above being said, roads & trails can offer different adaptations for your body & not bad idea to do a good mix between the 2, but with only a month to go wont make much difference now anyway.

           

           

          have  fun!

            +1 to SkyDog's comments

             

            Many rails to trails aren't much different than roads, but you might want to try an occasional long run on roads, if you have a safe place to run. You'll probably get a lot of the repetitiveness similar to running on asphalt.

             

            That said, trails can be very different from roads - both in footing and hills (steepness and length). Stabilizers (feet, ankles, whole body) get more work on trails. The flip side, I've run a race that included a section of worn asphalt with the gravel/rocks poking through - and it was on a long downhill. I've never had my feet hurt to that extent after any training run or race, including some that were longer. Note that most of my races are on trails (didn't realize that particular race had that much pavement), and I train on trails.

            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


            Climbing Mt Ruapehu

              I run trails the day after a long training run. refreshing, enjoyable and easier on the legs (if it is well graded and not too steep)

              Personal Race Records:

              M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)

               

              2012 Goals:
              Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)


              MM #5616

                I've been almost exclusively  trail running this summer, on steep technical trails in the Rockies, at high altitude. Long runs, too.  It's just too hot to run in the flatlands in the summer. Plus, I love trail running - I second skyedog's comment that if trail running is what motivates, you, then do it!  (I realize rail trails are a different beast than mountain single track).

                 

                Anyway, I ran a road 10k on Sunday, and got a huge blister on my little toe, wearing shoes I use regularly on trail runs up to 15 miles.  I think it was just the repetitive nature of road running.  So in addition to training more on roads, I'd pay attention to what shoes you pick.

                I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

                  so the last 2 weeks have set aside a day to run some hill repeats/sprints (mixed them up on same wo) for 30-40 mns (around 60 with wu/cd) on pavement.  today ran just short of an hour on a mix of multi & single track trails with dips/inclines/hills, etc.  started slow on multi track & then spurred off to single track that sometimes went through bushes for next 40 minutes or so.  finished back on multi track & ran hard effort up the hills.  strong finish last mile or so.  all the trails were on rocky/uneven root strewn trails & there was no flat througout run. conclusion: much harder wo overall, easier on the feet. & > benefit for strengthening.  for my LR's (15-20 miles) have been switching back & forth between easier rails to trails type trails & rolling pavement routes.   I feel that this mix will better benefit me during  my Nov marathon training.   building muscular strength & endurance, & adding more enjoyment & variety  during the dog days of training.  I am running LR's on a cambered & rolling type course but the trails give some break from the camber.