The Portland Marathon Clinic, a very well respected (free) marathon training group, does about half of its long runs on trails.<br><br>
I think the risks of doing too much on roads is (1) losing your toughness against the pounding of roads and then getting hammered by doing 26 on roads all at once. (2) Losing speed and specificity: most of us run a little slower on trails.<br><br>
Those concerns really only apply if more than 50% of your weekly mileage is on trails, and may be minor even then.
Right now 100% of my runs are on the trails. Once in a while I'll do my usualy 4 mile road route to get some speedish work in. All of my long runs have been on the trails, by the way.<br><br>
Did you mean to say "I think the risks of doing too much on the trails..."? But you're right. I do wonder if my legs would be able to handle 26.2 miles on asphalt if I've done 100% trail training.
I thought about that, too. I've done no speedwork as I've trained for my 25k. Hill repeats just sort of happen. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Thanks for your input; I knew I could count on you all. I love the trails so much and I dread having to run on asphalt.
In your opinion, which runs should I do on the roads, and which shoud I do on the trails? I do have speedwork scheduled, so I'd probably do that on the roads. But what about my long runs? Do you think I would be okay if I did those on the trails?
I don't think I'm the one to ask here. I don't have nearly enough experience about the matter to offer more than my speculation that trying to run 26.2 miles on asphalt after doing most of the training on trails will likely make the legs feel pretty pounded by the end. Maybe there's a few on here with more experience on trail running and what problems they may have had in the past when switching over to races on asphalt.
i do almost all of my long runs on trails, and ran a 50 miler this year and last year on roads and felt fine. But then again, i go at a much slower pace. I did one marathon this year and i hurt my knee, but i do not think that had anything to do with the pavement issue, but more the camber in the road. i would just make sure you have very new (but worn in) shoes for the actual race. That is my plan for all races, fresh shoes!!!
Right On Hippo - You can train great on trails for a marathon - I would even think you could figure out how to do speed work by effort. But running on pavement conditions your body to take the abuse of pavement - The faster you run on pavement the more abusive. So downfall - Possible injury - I would say that the risk is low IMHO
I have no idea of your training /running/racing experience but I would say training on trails would be an advantage. I would however make sure I did a road session at least once a week to keep your legs road hardened.<br><br>
You DON'T need speed work.<br>
You're running a marathon, it's top end power you need, and by running long on your trails and including hills your on a winner.
For what it's worth, this fall I'm training for a trail marathon, and I have been doing a mix of trails, track, and pavement.<br><br>
One thing I will tell you right now, the trail running has made it possible for me to get through most of the Pftizinger/Douglas 18 week up to 70 miles per week program. I didn't think my knees would hack the program as it's more mileage than I'm used to. But, the trail running saves at least some of the pounding that my body takes on pavement.<br><br>
Also, when it's hot and humid out, I'd rather run on the trail. I'm in the shade more. Furthermore, the trail doesn't absorb the sunlight like the pavement does. I'm convinced that as the pavement radiates the heat of the sun away, it creates a layer of warmer air right around the ground. The trail may do that, but to a much lesser extent.<br><br>
I would recommend you get trail-specific shoes for your trail runs.