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Running Vs. Hiking and Trail Running Paces

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!

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Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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