Trail Event Etiquette 101
So, you're ready to run your first trail event? Read the tips below on how to best
prep before a trail event, what to expect during, and how to recovery properly after.
Pre-Trail Event Prep
Time Expectations: Set low expectations for your time. Trail running requires a lot more effort. Enjoy the experience. Establish PRs for a certain trail, not a certain distance.
Find your Pace: Passing is more challenging, right away you should get into the correct wave or group of runners going at your pace.
Dress Rehearsal: Pick a short, local trail race for your first one so you can practice on the course in advance and know what to expect.
Accountability: Bring a friend, ideally one who runs at your pace and share the experience with them.
- Footing will obviously be more challenging in a trail race. Practice picking up your feet a bit more than usually; develop a slight spring in your step. If you trip, roll onto your shoulder to avoid a wrist injury.
- Keep your arms a little wider for balance and pump them more on hills and over obstacles.
- Keep your eye a little more on the ground and in front of you so you can prepare for how you will negotiate obstacles. Soak in the scenery when the trail smooths out.
- For your first trail race, it’s not necessary to go out and buy a new trail running shoe. A road shoe will work fine as long as it’s stable and comfortable. Over time, as you do more trail running, consider a trail-specific shoe which should have a lower profile for stability and a more aggressive or “knobby” tread for grip, along with some other minor enhancements.