100 Mile Run (5 months to go) – Tips for first time trail runners

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 in News

We are now down to 5 months until our next 100 Mile Run event, and we hope your training is going well. We understand that some of you may not be too familiar with trail running, so we’ve put together some information that will hopefully help you out.

100 Mile Run 2013 - At the start line - Day 2 - Trail Running EventTrail running is very beneficial to your health and fitness. Living in cities and pounding the pavements over time can cause serious joint injuries, whereas running on the softer ground of trails will not only be kinder to your joints, it also improves your strength, balance and stamina. Another positive about trail running is, due to the lack of motor vehicles on the trails, you will be breathing in a great deal of fresh air – which is great for your respiratory system!

Every trail path is different – offering an excellent hop, skip and a jump. They are often uneven, scattered with tree roots and rocks, and even the odd puddle you’ll need to leap over. This makes a nice change from the monotonous forward movement of road running, where your only obstacles are waiting for the traffic lights to change, or pedestrians to move out of the way. Trail running can be very picturesque – so please don’t forget to check out the views and slow down or stop if there’s something interesting to marvel at.

If you’ve never done trail running before, good places to start are parkland trails and canal towpaths. If you don’t live near either of these, you can start practicing on different terrains by running on cobblestones and jumping curbs or little fences. Once you feel comfortable with easy gravel and footpath trails, you can start to introduce rougher, rockier terrain to your training runs.

Crickley Hill Vantage Point for Ultramarathon RunnerYour technique is going to change when you begin to run on trails. At first it can be frustrating moving at a slower pace than you’re used to on roads. Just remember to be patient and keep practicing – as you become more familiar with the different terrains, you will begin to pick up more speed as your confidence increases.

Even the best navigators get lost! To begin with, pick easy or familiar routes which are similar in distance to those you are used to running. As you become more confident, start to plan new routes in unfamiliar areas. Each time you set off on a route, make sure you inform someone where you plan to go and what time you plan on returning. Take a GPS if you have one, but most importantly take a fully charged mobile phone.

Of course you will need somewhere to put your mobile phone, water, waterproof jacket and any snacks or gels. It would be useful now to start training with a rucksack, so when it’s time for you to take part in the 100 Mile Run Challenge, you will know exactly what you will need to pack, and what you can leave at home. It’s also a good idea to start training wearing the gear you plan to wear for 100 Mile Run. It’s a good chance for you to see what’s suitable and what’s not, but you will also give the kit a chance to wear-in.


We hope that this information has been useful to you – good Luck with your training & keep up the hard work!

100 Mile Run