Trail Running | 80/20 Endurance

Trail Running

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    To this point, I’ve hardly ever done any trail running. At least not on dirt trails with any kind of elevation change. It’s been almost all road, concrete paved trails, and the track. My brother has been asking about doing some trail running with him and I just got a solid pair of trail running shoes for my birthday.

    Any suggestions on adding in some trail running? I’m guessing it’s wise to start easy and don’t worry about pace. Anything else? And how would you incorporate trail runs into an 80/20 program? I’m not training for a trail race, though I might consider one of shorter distance this spring, if my schedule allows. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Yes, ease into it. It’s not a difficult adjustment, but the first few runs will leave you sore in muscles you never knew you had. All trails are not equal, so just how much trail running you end up doing will need to depend somewhat on the specifics of the terrain. If you have options that aren’t too terribly hilly or technical, you can do all of your Foundation Runs on trails, and there are advantages to so doing (namely, less cumulative pounding on the legs). But if we’re talking about gnarly trails on which it’s impossible to maintain a steady Zone 2 groove, reserve them for special occasions unless you have designs on racing off-road.


    Thanks! There’s a nature center close to the house with dirt trails and it’s pretty flat. This sounds like a great options for some of the easier runs. The harder trails…there’s some challenging terrain, but it’s Texas. Good stuff, but not like what you would find in the mountains.


    if you get into it and have the cash, consider switching to power rather than pace for the trail runs, especially if hilly.


    By ‘cash’ I’m referring to the need to get a power meter (eg Stryd).

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