Trail and road running are two very different sports. While both are accomplished by placing one foot in front of the other, the nuances of each can be quite different. If you’ve been a lifelong trail runner, you might be unaware that some aspects of your craft are a little odd to the uninitiated, and if you’re just getting started on the trails, be prepared for some of the scenarios listed below. As it turns out, they’re considered normal.
The dirt nap
#Moab240 update from pacer: photo from mile 215 @MickeyGraglia laid down on the street. He gave him 1 minute to get up and start running, was scared he would get hit by a car. Currently in lead at 234 miles, @davidgoggins next in 221.
Our sport is weird. pic.twitter.com/fZwYKim86q
— Billy Yang (@BillyYang) October 11, 2020
Over the weekend, Michele Graglia won the Moab 240, but en route to winning he took what was coined on Twitter as a ‘dirt nap.’ A dirt nap just means that you lie down on the side of the road in the dirt and close your eyes for a few moments. It’s a recharge, but to the initiated, it looks like a fatal accident waiting to happen.
Naps are 60 seconds in length
On that note, your dirt nap only lasts 60 seconds. So don’t get too cozy – you’ve got another 60 miles to run.
Running into a coyote/bear/cougar
— Rory Linkletter (@ThePapaLinks) October 12, 2020
The above video shows a trail runner encountering a cougar outside Provo, Utah. The runner seems concerned, but is obviously used to this scenario. So used to it, in fact, that he reasons out loud with the cougar, saying, “C’mon dude, I don’t feel like dying today.”
Eating a meal seconds before continuing to run
Most road runners are used to eating and then letting themselves digest that meal for about two hours before heading out for their workout. This is especially true when it comes to race day. But for an ultratrail runner, mealtime is any time (as their races can last for days). If whole foods were restricted to before and after racing, they wouldn’t see the finish line.
A morning 25 and an afternoon 15
And this isn’t mileage in minutes, it’s mileage in kilometres. Ultratrail runners train a lot, because their race distances necessitate it. You don’t show up underprepared to a 100 miler. And as all trail runners know, the mileage bug is a contagious one that just makes you want to keep running more (read: do the 200 miler next year).