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Beginner in for a mighty trail race experience ...eeek!

Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 14
United Kingdom
Posted: Thu 26 Mar 2009 12:50 am GMT   topTop
Hello Everyone

I'm new to this forum! I have done 2 trail races, both last year aug and oct. One was 9 miles, I managed in 1hr54mins roughly. The 2nd was a steep uphill downhill mountain climb/run of only 6miles which took me 1hr 36 mins.

This weekend I have a trail run of 32km over a VERY hilly terrain. Here is the course profile: http://www.powersports.co.jp/osjtrail/09_shinshirotrail/32k.pdf

I am still a beginner, but my 2 friends, fellow runners, encouraged me to sign up for it...oh peer pressure hahaha. ANyway, I have 10 hours to finish. My speedy friend says he will take about 5 hours, so I will def take twice that long...hmmm

I was hoping for any tips on keeping a steady pace....how often to rest....how much to eat/drink...ANY tips at all would be most welcome!! I love downhill....struggle on uphill...looks like a walking uphill course anyway!!!

Thank you :)
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 196
Utah, United States
Posted: Sat 28 Mar 2009 01:39 am GMT   topTop
Hey, welcome to the forum. Good choice getting into trail running :-)

As for tips, rather than being repetitive (a bit short on time at the moment), there is some discussion already on the forum you can look at. Just make sure you eat/drink *enough*. "Often", and "early" is the rule. The longer the race, the easier it is to get behind on energy and fluids, and for most runners, the longer the run the harder it is to keep food and liquids down ... so again, getting "enough" is the key. I'm sure others on this forum can pass along some additional info.

Be sure to let us know how your 32km goes this weekend.
Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 14
United Kingdom
Posted: Mon 30 Mar 2009 12:33 am GMT   topTop
Thank you for your reply backcountryrunner :)

Sorry I didn't have much time on the internet (my own computer has died on me :( ) so I asked my question before looking into to other threads on the forum.

Anyway, thank you - *enough* helped immensely! I made sure I drank early and ate before I felt hungry.

The race was so much fun! In the beginning I chatted to a girl who said she did it last year and it took her 11hours30mins, 1and a half hours over the time limit....so I thought, well, if she's done it before I might be in for a looong day haha. I followed her pace for a while, but realised that my own pace was a little faster, so I went on and found my own rhythm. As for the sever uphills, I went at a speed where I didn't need to stop for a breather.

I thought it would take me 10 or more hours, but I finished in 7hr49mins. It felt good and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one!! My friend finished in 5 hours...he's quite speedy haha. Another friend came 11th and finished in 4hr16. Not sure who came first for the ladies...will check that when the results are out.

I def prefer trails to roads I have decided

I'm going to search this site for more tips etc!!

Thank you again! JoJo
Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 18
Tokyo, Japan
Posted: Mon 13 Apr 2009 08:40 pm GMT   topTop
Jojo, congrats on a good race and experience from a fellow trail runner in Japan. The OSJ events are generally great courses with excellent support. I have run almost all of the trail races on the Japanese running calendar over past five years, so if you ever need any advice about which to enter, do not hesitate to ask.

Be VERY thankful that you did not enter the OSJ Okukuji race last weekend. It was an extremely difficult 50K course, and I will be curious to see how many runners dropped out mid-way. I suspect at least a third or more. I mean a beautiful course which I quite enjoyed, but so much technical difficulty that I doubt beginners could finish it in the time limit.

Japan is a great country for trail running, with extensive trail networks beginning very near most major cities, easily reached through public transportation. If you are living here, you are in luck!
Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 14
United Kingdom
Posted: Tue 14 Apr 2009 12:00 am GMT   topTop
Hello Gawdless_and_Squadless, thank you for the reply! I am indeed living in Japan. This is my 3rd and final year .. although I am half wishing I decided to stay on for a 4th....I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by all these mountains!

I did hear about the Okukuji race, yes haha.....not ready for that kind of race yet haha. It's thought of as one of the hardest out of the OSJ races ?

I am planning on doing the ShigaKogen 50k in July actually - my first ultra *gasp*

Are you still in Japan yourself? What was your favourite race? Did you do the Madarao Forest Trail 50k by any chance?

I'll leave you with all those questions to answer for now!

Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 18
Tokyo, Japan
Posted: Tue 14 Apr 2009 04:51 am GMT   topTop

Yes, I have lived here for most of my life. That's great that you will do your first ultra! My friend did ShigaKougen. BUT a complete disaster last year with heavy rains, according to him. It had to be shortened for safety. I haven't done
it myself, nor Madarao, though I might do it as a warm up for the TransRockies in August. I will also run in the OSJ 100K in Ontake in July. I did the Shinshiro Race two years ago!

My favorite races in Japan are:

Fuji Touzan Marathon (run up Fuji with a strict time limit)
Okumusashi Kougen (17K run in my usual training area in November)
Oxfam Trailwalker 100K (team of four adventure race over the mountains in Hakone)
Tengu Trails (race in Takao area, good vibes with environmental theme)
OSJ Ontake Sky Race (part of the international Skyrunners championship. Not the same as the Ontake 100K)
Bouso20 (beautiful course in Chiba, very runnable! I mostly like it be)

[edited: Tue 14 Apr 2009 05:10 am]
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 66
Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted: Fri 31 Jul 2009 10:45 pm GMT   topTop
Good work, great to hear you beat your estimated time. And by over 2hrs, that's fantastic!
As for tips, well obviously the most important would be hydration. Make sure you are well hydrated before the race and continue to keep it up through the race; everybody is different but I got through only 3 or 4 litres on a recent 70km trail race (aparrently that's not much)?! Eat regularly and experiment with solid food and gels, on longer races you may find you need to switch as your stomach no longer wants to put up with one form of food! This is quite common.
Main thing would be having consitency in your training. If you run 4-5 times a week you will make the best injury-free gains if you can keep it like this. No good only getting in a couple of runs one week and then running 150km the next! Sounds a bit crazy, but I know a few friends who do this and let's just say they have a lot more injuries than me because of it. Running is the whole package and is not just something that involves the legs - it recruits the whole body, soul and mind. You need to instill the repetitiveness of training in order to develop gains in all areas, such as fitness, mental toughness, muscular endurance and neurological adaptations.
Sounds like you have the love for running which is so important, if you struglle with motivation to get out the door and hit the trails then you will probably never reach the goals you dream of.
All the best with your upcoming races JoJo, hope some of this is helpful ?!

JAMES STYLER (p.f.t), (b.b)
Columnist for V02 MAX magazine
Interview with 2 x Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington here:

TEL: +64 275534266
WEB: www.stylerhealth.com

[edited: Fri 31 Jul 2009 10:46 pm]