Newbie mountain runner query

Lisa O'ConnellMay 21, 10:28pmHi,

I am an ordinary runner and I've never run on this kind of terrain before but am interested in trying it out. Living around 15k from Galway City and I'm wondering if there are any events coming up soon around this area or since I'm a newbie should I avoid official organised events and just take part in a regular group event first to get a feel for it?

All advice hugely appreciated.
Dave KellyMay 23, 6:13pmHi Lisa,

About 2-3 years ago I was in the same boat that you are now. I had done some road running and wanted to do some trail/mountain running. Based on my experience, I would suggest the following:

Start off in your local park running on woodland tracks to develop the specific muscles and fitness needed. Do this for a full season slowly working in more climbs and poorer terrain.

Try something like the Mourne Way 10k when you feel ready.

You can see from the events calendar where the IMRA races are - a lot of them are not too close to you. However, I did meet a guy a while ago based in the west who just picked out 4-5 races each year he really wanted to do and he just had to travel for them.

It is worth repeating that I think you need to develop muscles for trail running that you do not use so much in road running. So build it up slowly.

But definitely make the effort to crossover. Mountain/trail running way way better than road running.

Good luck,

Justin ReaMay 24, 9:57amJoin the Facebook Group <a href="">Mountain and Hill running in Connaught</a> for some event info.
Patrick BarryMay 24, 10:46amAs said previously hill running is very different to road running. It is not just fitness but experience/confidence on the rough ground (especially on the descents) also come into play. I have been fell running with a club in Manchester for 3 years now and my improvement over the past year has been massive. A work mate of mine has started to come out with the club while we are well matched on the road, I leave him for dead on the hills.

Weight is so much more important on the hills as well I have dropped 10Kg in the past year and it has mad a big difference to my climbing ability.

I look at people running around the streets of Manchester and I ask myself WHY?

I have turned into a bit of a Fell Running snob!
Ronan HickeyMay 24, 10:48amHi Lisa,

First of all. DO'll never regret it. It's amazing!

Second of all I think, while Dave's method is undoubtedly the best way forward I think there is nothing necessarily wrong with the time-honoured way a lot of us started hill running.

1) Get badgered into turning up to a race by mates calling you a wimp.
2) Rock up to what you reckon is the easiest race in the calendar.
3) Freak out at the fact that the competitors are leaner, fitter and meaner-looking than at road races. Hell, they look tough even while wearing lycra!
4) Panic when you can't follow the route description which is blurted out at the start of the race.
5) Die for the first 10 minutes.
6) Think about faking an injury to be able to stop.
7) Suddenly realise that while it's horrific it hasn't actually got any WORSE in the last 5 minutes.
8) Reach the top.
9) Become a kid again running down as fast as you can (note: you will redefine the word fast after seeing how the leaders do these descents)
10) Try NOT to get an injury (cos you know we'll think you're only faking it)
11) Finish and liberally apply batter burgers,chips and pints of Guinness
12) Swagger a little when you casually mention the race to people in work
13) Become obsessed with percentages, Enduro points, race profiles and marking that FECKING git who always seems to finish just in front of you but MAN is he gonna get his at the next race!
14) Laugh like a drain when road runners complain about hilly race courses

How about picking a race to get you into it? The worry about training to be ready for hill running is that you'll never think you're ready. Plus there's a little secret IMRA runners have that isn't often mentioned on the forum.

*Most of us don't run the whole thing*

The Cleasathon is a trail 10k on Inis Oirr (

Or the 15k Warriors Run in Strandhill ( is a mix of road and hill.

Hope to see ya at races in the future!


Dave KellyMay 24, 10:58amOn mature reflection, I am guilty of following some of Ronan's tip also!
Jeff SwordsMay 24, 11:04amGreat post Ronan. I have often thought of implementing step 6 while step 5 is in progress.
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