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Hi, everyone. I know there are several masters around here who do a significant amount of off-road running. I am running in a 7 mile off-road race in a week, and am starting to wonder if I'm really prepared, at least in terms of gear. <a href="http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=100398" target="_blank">This</a> was last year's course, and I'm assuming this year it will be similar.<br><br>
My biggest concern is that I have the right gear. I imagine my feet are going to get wet, and I'm wondering what, if anything, I can do about that. Any advice from those of you who have experience would be much appreciated.<br><br>
Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't worry much, in 7 miles there is not a lot of bad that can happen because your feet got wet. What I would definitely do is to have something clean, at least in the shoes/socks dept, to change into afterwards along with a garbage bag to stuff the muddys into. A towel that you can get dirty wouldn't hurt either.<br><br>
Otherwise, if you have trail shoes that are good in mud, wear them. If you don't, it's probably a little late to get new shoes just for the race. If you must get new shoes, Brooks Cascadias have a very broad appeal - they may not be the best for everyone, but very few people really dislike them.<br><br>
The other thing about trails is you should really scale your expectations down in terms of time. A classic mistake would be "I run a 40 min 10K, toss in 5 min for the extra 0.7 mi, then allow 4 minutes of slowing because it's on trails" then after the race "I shoulda run it in 49 minutes, but it took an hour and 8 minutes: I'm such a loser!" -- You never know how much the trails will slow you down, but it's usually more than you expect.<br><br>
Another thing that might help, try to always keep your weight directly over your feet when the footing is dicey. If you're leaning back on a downhill or "banking" into a little turn and your foot slides, you'll splat for sure. If your weight is centered, you'll just go sideways in an upright position.<br><br>
El-cheapo gloves on your hands in case you DO splat can be a godsend too.
 

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'Course, I don't a fraction of the trail experience the guy in the pink skort above has, runin, but experience from a badly sprained ankle on a half marathon trail run tells me to:<br><br>
1. Keep your eyes on the terrain in front of you.<br>
2. Dappled light and shadows can make it tough to see dips and changes in terrain, so probably best to ditch the sunglasses or even coloured lenses if you wear such things.<br>
3. If you run hard, watch the latter stages as that's often when you'll catch a root or rut as you start to drag your feet a bit.<br>
4. I wear a fairly thin sock if I know I'm going to be in the water.<br><br>
The lower-your-expectations part Hippo mentions is a good one.<br><br>
Have fun and watch for roots, rocks and trail <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/run1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="run caution">. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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....runnin//......these guys race WAY more than me for the last 2-decades,,,,,,but I'd Vaseline my feet up if I knew they were gonna get wet....<br><br>
......oh, and run more upright,<br>
you may have to catch yourself if you trip...<br><br>
.............that's it for me.......<br>
Good Luck....let us know how you do......
 

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If you are at all competative, and the trail is narrow... I'd advise a slightly different strategy than in a road race. That would be to give it a little more gas than you normally would at the beginning to get up front. If you get stuck in the middle of the pack at the beginning of the trail race, working your way around a lot of people is tough on single track especially on a course that is 10 miles or less.<br><br>
Otherwise, much like <b>Hippo</b> said, 7 miles isn't far enough to worry about your feet getting wet. Watch your step as you get close to the end, that's when your more likely to be dragging, and hit a root or rock, or slip.<br><br>
Have fun. I really like trail races, it's a nice break.
 

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Have fun Marie - Hippo has pretty much covered the basics, I will mention the obvious again.... watch where you're going and carry more gear than you normally would. A hand held water bottle makes a nice cushion for the inevitable trip.<br><br>
I have a couple of different pair of trail shoes, but in the races I've been in, I've seen a LOT (at least 1/3 if not 1/2) of people wearing regular road shoes.<br><br>
Good luck, I wish I was running your race <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad">
 

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Coach has suggested that I'm a bit too fragile for our local fall mudder, and I'm disappointed. I was really looking forward to it.<br><br>
On the other hand, I'm free to go train on the course and enjoy it for what it is, without competitive pressure encouraging me to go do something stoopid. So I will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all of you who responded. You're just the guys (and gals) I was hoping would have some wisdom to impart. I guess I'm just getting a little nervous, since I've never run anything like this. On the race website it says to not wear anything to the race that you want to keep! It sounds like fun, but might be a tad cold by the end.<br><br>
JJJ, I do think you might be right. I read your run reports and so wish Omaha had the kind of trails you describe.<br><br>
Johnny, I wish you were running my race, too. We'd have a darn good time together in Iowa.<br><br>
Hippo, I am especially grateful for your rational words about there not being that much that can got wrong in 7 miles. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cool"><br><br>
I'll have a good race report for you all next week.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_salut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="salute">
 
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