I had run on this cycle track previously, but got as far (probably) as 1/4 mile before having to stop and walk. My distance never increased because my training at that time (about 4-5 years ago) was very sporadic and had literally no planning involved! Now - I'm organising my life around running! My apprehension today came from this memory - would I be able to make it all the way around the trail without stopping? The trail is approx 3/4 mile long circuit consisting of two loops - a small upper loop and a large lower loop. There is one decent incline ('the bastard'!) and a couple nice, swift downhill sections. The nice thing is that none of it is particularly secluded (where you would worry that safety is an issue) and of course it's all on the school's private estate, so the likelihood of me encountering another runner is virtually nil.
I took my water bottle of strawberry lemonade Nuun with me and parked it at the beginning of the trail waiting for me when I finished and started running. I felt like I got off at a decent pace, but knew 'the bastard' would soon be around the corner (this is the point where I would always stop and walk!). Running on the trail was different to what I remembered - I'm sure the trainers I had previously were just completely the wrong shoes for me - my feet were squished (I have quite wide feet) and there just didn't seem to be any bounce in them at all. My current pink Asics make all the difference - these bad boys were made for my feet! I'm convinced the geniuses at Asics had me in mind when creating them! Perfect bounce, even on the relatively absorbing surface of the trail. I was a happy girl.
|My badass Asics on the trail|
|The end of the trail|
- It's hard - yes I did have good support with my Asics, but I definitely felt my legs were working harder running on trail than running on the road.
- It requires more concentration on where you put your feet (sounds obvious, but it's true!). Various obstacles such as loose gravel, twigs, deer droppings (!) could easily trip you up!
- Time went quicker - I had done two loops before I realised it. That's great!
- It seems trail running suits me - my average pace was faster than road running!
All in all I'm quite happy that I managed just over two loops of the trail without stopping - the old me couldn't have managed half of one! I know it will get more difficult because each week my mileage increases - but I'm hoping the more I do it, the easier it will get.
So, now a question to all of you -
Have you tried trail running and what was your experience?