To date I have done most of my training on the old railway line which runs alongside the river behind our house. The terrain is uneven, sometimes muddy and there are plenty of ups and downs. It is a beautiful route, the views are spectacular, however, because it is one long track, it is a case of running half of your desired distance and then turning around and retracing your steps.
Last week I decided I fancied a change and went on a circuitous road route taking in various local estates. Although not as pretty, the route did not repeat and within the first few minutes I was finding the going somewhat easier. There were still plenty of ups and downs – more ups than downs I am sure! – but my breathing was much more consistent and I managed to achieve my longest run to date: 4.4km, 31 minutes. Interestingly I also went a little faster – my split times being 30 seconds or more quicker on the road route.
I was not aware until I compared the two that there would be that much difference based on the terrain, but I found it a real eye opener.
For the future I plan to alternate my training so that I am still giving myself the challenge of the trail run but I feel confident that by also training on the roads, I will be able to improve my stamina and times more readily.
Does this reflect anyone else’s experiences?