General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Trails vs Road Rss Feed  
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2014-03-27 2:37 PM

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: Trails vs Road
Hi guys!

How many of you complete the run portion of your triathlon training on trails vs roads? I'm finding I love trail running. I get out and find some single track as often as possible (I'm in CO though so that's quite easy though).

I do notice trails are "harder" on my body right now, I'm a trained road runner so I'm obviously missing some of the unique fitness that trail running requires.

Has anyone else completed a good chunk/majority of their triathlon run training on the trails? Pros/cons? What did you notice? How did it affect you? Cheers,

Brian


2014-03-27 2:47 PM
in reply to: Brian W

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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Originally posted by Brian W

Hi guys!

How many of you complete the run portion of your triathlon training on trails vs roads? I'm finding I love trail running. I get out and find some single track as often as possible (I'm in CO though so that's quite easy though).

I do notice trails are "harder" on my body right now, I'm a trained road runner so I'm obviously missing some of the unique fitness that trail running requires.

Has anyone else completed a good chunk/majority of their triathlon run training on the trails? Pros/cons? What did you notice? How did it affect you? Cheers,

Brian


Trails are for easy runs, week after hard races, strength runs, long runs etc.

Road is for key sessions.
2014-03-27 3:20 PM
in reply to: Brian W

Master
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

Depends on the trail. The diversity is huge there. Most right by me are easier because they're well groomed crushed limestone. Picturesque city park path type. Whereas others will be dirt, rocks, roots and all sorts of unevenness. Probably having sharper changes in direction (all of up, down, left, right)This latter type tends to be harder on various support type areas whereas the former tends to be more like the roads, but a bit softer.

2014-03-27 3:23 PM
in reply to: Brian W


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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Love trails. Very easy on the body once you get into trail shape.
Watch for twisted ankles.
The same saying goes for bikes " those who have fallen, those who haven't fallen yet."
Usually get some good scrapes and cuts on legs and hands and skinned knees on those falls.

I trained exclusively on trails for a few years, and found that when running road races I felt beat up.
Now I mix it up and throw some roads in there to toughen up the body.
I do mostly trails/dirt path still, but try to get at least two runs on road, one longer.

Well...when alll of the snow melts I will be doing that again.
2014-03-27 3:30 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Definitely Move over to the Dark side but be careful you may develop an extreme disliking to asphalt and concrete.
Truthfully when I discovered trail running I didn't run on a road again for almost 2 years even now I only run on the road out of necessity, if the trail is
safely runnable I will be on it, Can't wait for spring here.

I have great multiple level 4/5 singletrack trails just a minute from my office and about 4 minutes from Home, I actually usually run faster on trail too as I tend to get into a better rythym and find it much more enjoyable. Trails Rule Period.

AS mentioned work on strengthing your ankles, if you run trails you will roll an ankle or hook a root and take a header it's just a question of when.

Edited by RRH_88 2014-03-27 3:37 PM
2014-03-27 4:08 PM
in reply to: RRH_88

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

I love running on trails, and where I am we're blessed with a variety of terrains and difficulty of terrains.  It's more enjoyable running among the trees and nature than on the road, IMO, and it keeps you focused and sharp because you gotta pay attention or you will be eating dirt, rocks or roots!   To answer your question, I usually do a mix of both, dependant on distance, time, and time of day (can't run on trails at night around here legally).  We have rail trails (crushed gravel surface) which make great places to do long distance runs car-free.



2014-03-27 4:26 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

I use trails (like the track and treadmill) as a tool. There are wide variety of trail types and functions they can serve:

The more forgiving nature of trails makes it a great place to do recovery runs. So long as you can find one that doesn't have too much elevation gain or isn't too technical. I love just slowing it down and taking a moment to enjoy the scenery on these types of runs. 

The steep and undulating trails are great for building strength and you can do this a variety of ways (long runs, reps, tempo)

Technical trails are fantastic for staying mentally sharp and not zoning out on a run.

 

They are obviously less ideal for trying to hit a specific pace or simulating a road race.

2014-03-27 5:48 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed


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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Both, no vs. about it. The only surface I really dislike is concrete (though I doubt a 170 lb guy's feet can really tell the "hardness" difference between asphalt and concrete; it is probably psychological).
2014-03-27 5:53 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by Brian W Hi guys! How many of you complete the run portion of your triathlon training on trails vs roads? I'm finding I love trail running. I get out and find some single track as often as possible (I'm in CO though so that's quite easy though). I do notice trails are "harder" on my body right now, I'm a trained road runner so I'm obviously missing some of the unique fitness that trail running requires. Has anyone else completed a good chunk/majority of their triathlon run training on the trails? Pros/cons? What did you notice? How did it affect you? Cheers, Brian
Trails are for easy runs, week after hard races, strength runs, long runs etc. Road is for key sessions.

 

My sentiments exactly. Technically though my canal path is a "trail" in that it's hard packed dirt but it's great for key sessions too.

2014-03-27 7:43 PM
in reply to: Brian W

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Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

95% (okay, probably closer to 99%) of my running is on mostly-groomed trails.  I hate where the trails run alongside the road.  I hate running on road period.  If I didn't have all the equestrian trails in my area, I probably wouldn't have stuck with the running.  In fact, I am certain I wouldn't have stuck with it.  I didn't do any running before starting triathlon, so I'm not sure how trails affected me, other than making running much more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise.

2014-03-27 8:00 PM
in reply to: SevenZulu


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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
This is one of the many reasons why 2014 sucks. The trails have been under snow all year. When it all finally melts, they'll take at least another two to three weeks to dry out IF we finally get some decent weather. I run a fair amount of my time on them, but I do my hard interval runs on pavement.



2014-03-27 8:15 PM
in reply to: Brian W

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Park City UT, Utah
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
I would say that 80% of my runs are on trails. To me, it allows me to run further without too much strain on the body... it's also a great way to incorporate lots of vertical feet into my run. Then again, all of my running is done in the hills.... at 6500' elevation.
2014-03-28 8:11 AM
in reply to: RRH_88

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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Originally posted by RRH_88

Definitely Move over to the Dark side but be careful you may develop an extreme disliking to asphalt and concrete.
Truthfully when I discovered trail running I didn't run on a road again for almost 2 years even now I only run on the road out of necessity, if the trail is
safely runnable I will be on it, Can't wait for spring here.

I have great multiple level 4/5 singletrack trails just a minute from my office and about 4 minutes from Home, I actually usually run faster on trail too as I tend to get into a better rythym and find it much more enjoyable. Trails Rule Period.

AS mentioned work on strengthing your ankles, if you run trails you will roll an ankle or hook a root and take a header it's just a question of when.


x2 on this. I used to like road running but now tolerate it at best.

I love trails but I have to get in the car and drive to the trail which isn't always manageable so I tolerate road running.

Trail running is addictive.

PSA: don't wear headphones while trail running. I was MTB the other day with a buddy and we ended up behind a trail runner on single track. We tried to let him know we were passing but nothing. I all but screamed at the top of my lungs and the guy never heard me. We scared the crap out of him when we passed at a wide part when it was safe. Earbuds blasting loud on singletrack is foolish and unsafe for all of us out there. When I come around a corner on the bike and yell "coming around" and he doesn't here me we are both in a crash.

2014-03-28 9:03 AM
in reply to: Brian W

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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road

When I was running a lot I found that I liked the trails when I wanted to get back to the beauty of nature and the roads when I needed to work out an issue in my life.  Lucky for me I have friends that run both so  I get a healthy mix of both.  They each offer a different type of workout.

2014-03-28 12:22 PM
in reply to: BAMBAM66

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Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
The white line will suck the joy from your soul.
2014-03-28 6:35 PM
in reply to: Jtiger

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
Originally posted by Jtiger

Originally posted by RRH_88

Definitely Move over to the Dark side but be careful you may develop an extreme disliking to asphalt and concrete.
Truthfully when I discovered trail running I didn't run on a road again for almost 2 years even now I only run on the road out of necessity, if the trail is
safely runnable I will be on it, Can't wait for spring here.

I have great multiple level 4/5 singletrack trails just a minute from my office and about 4 minutes from Home, I actually usually run faster on trail too as I tend to get into a better rythym and find it much more enjoyable. Trails Rule Period.

AS mentioned work on strengthing your ankles, if you run trails you will roll an ankle or hook a root and take a header it's just a question of when.


x2 on this. I used to like road running but now tolerate it at best.

I love trails but I have to get in the car and drive to the trail which isn't always manageable so I tolerate road running.

Trail running is addictive.

PSA: don't wear headphones while trail running. I was MTB the other day with a buddy and we ended up behind a trail runner on single track. We tried to let him know we were passing but nothing. I all but screamed at the top of my lungs and the guy never heard me. We scared the crap out of him when we passed at a wide part when it was safe. Earbuds blasting loud on singletrack is foolish and unsafe for all of us out there. When I come around a corner on the bike and yell "coming around" and he doesn't here me we are both in a crash.




One of my favorite things about trail running (and when I say trail I mean rugged mountainous areas, not the local dirt path, is ditching the headphones. It's awesome to check out the scenery, wildlife, and listen to the forest. What a great experience...while training!


2014-03-28 9:40 PM
in reply to: Brian W

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Park City UT, Utah
Subject: RE: Trails vs Road
I did 10 miles on the road today... definitely would rather be on the trails...
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