WHEN TO RUN VS HIKE? // The great question of all new trail runners who’s egos are wildly defeated after realizing trail makes them “slow”.
There isn’t a cut/dry perfect amount of time that you will be slower vs faster. But overall yes — trails are a slightly slower pace. But the magnitude of this depends on many things like the vertical gain/loss, the condition of the trail (a smooth vs Rocky trail), how trained your are on trail (aka trail feet) & your confidence in navigating step up or downs!
So part experience, part fitness & to fit my own personal bias…. A good bit of strength + athleticism too 😉
Here are some rough guidelines / ranges based on my own experience & experience around or coaching or working with others getting into trail running.
There is absolutely likely overlap in categories. I may have to hike a really rocky 300ft/mile trail. While I’ve ran 500ft/mile trails slowly before. So give your self grace in learning different types of trail + your own fitness.
I know I’m a really good power hiker and I lean into that. I also know I’m a pretty solid downhill bomber so always pick up time there. Im honestly not a great flat fast runner 😂😂😂 so account for that too!
It’s all about learning your strengths vs weakness on trail & adjusting expectations as you get better + more experienced!
And most of all — WALKING IS NORMAL. And despite what people think; power hiking in an ultra is HARD and often harder than flat road running 🤪.
So give your self some grace. Learn how to pace your efforts. And be okay with the fact we aren’t all @kilianjornet!
For more help + info including how to get stronger for ultras checkout my guide … ULTRA! Link in my bio always 👏🏻💕🏃🏼
& always if you found this helpful tag or share with a friend!