A few years ago, I was out of town and planned a run with a friend on the local trails.  That friend had a work emergency and couldn’t make it, so he recommended a weekly group road run to attend in the area.

I decided to take his advice and join this group.  To my surprise, there were close to one hundred runners in this gathering that started at a local brewpub.  Much different than the 10-20 usually attending my trail group runs.  The leader briefly explained the route, then remarked, “Let’s go!”  Runners put their headphones in and took off like it was the local 10k road race.  I ran much faster than anticipated, mainly to keep up so I wouldn’t get lost.  There was absolutely no conversation during the run.

After the run, I ordered a beer and found a seat with a few other runners.  The dialogue was pleasant, and I made a few new friends.

Like most trail runners, I started as a road runner.  I still do a few runs on the pavement, but this run reminded me that there is a difference between trail runners (dirt churners) and road runners (pavement pounders.)  Below is a tongue-in-cheek list I made with the help of a few other trail runners.  Feel free to comment on anything we missed.  Pavement pounders revenge comments are welcome!

 

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Pavement Pounders

Dirt Churners

Race Aid Stations

Grab a cup of water and throw it on the ground.  No need to lose precious seconds! Hangs out for 10 minutes eating handfuls of Ruffles, Skittles, and only to wash it down with a liter of Coke 

Music

EDM, Eminem, Thrash Metal, anything with a fast beat Pleasant conversation and nature’s sounds

Post Race Celebration

Grab a swag bag with a medal, shirt, stickers, other race promos, and head home A finishers glass to fill with a favorite beverage and talk with other finishers for hours until crawling back to the tent

Post Race Conversation

“What was your time?” “How many times did you hit the tarmac (dirt)?”  

Hills

Hills ruin my training pace Let’s get after it!

Annual Comparison

“How many miles did you run last year?” “How many feet did you ascend last year?”

Biggest Fear

Cars Cougars

Shoe Cleanliness 

Jump over puddles and avoid mud to keep clean  Run through puddles and wear mud as a badge of honor 

Voiding

Keeps an eye out for the next porta-potty Keeps an eye out for a tree large enough to partially conceal self 

Direction of Gaze

Looking out over the herd Scanning 10 ft ahead for obstacles, scenery be damned

Marching Order

Shoulder to shoulder Single file

Poles

Those are used for skiing, right? Great for hilly, technical trails

Walking

You doing the Jeff Galloway program? How else am I going to get up that hill?

Pre-race meal

Carb load! Whatever’s left in the cooler

Family Support

Wait for you at the finish Crew Team

Marathon Race

Exactly 26.2!  Better not be more! Anything between 25 and 29 miles

Race Course

Follow everyone else Follow cones, get off course for a bit.  Check phone.  Find the course again.  No big deal

Warmup

One mile before the run The first mile during the run

Pacing

8-10 minute miles is an easy, aerobic recovery run 9-12 minute miles is a challenging, anaerobic tempo workout

Injury

My knee hurts, better take two weeks off. Ice, rehab If the bone ain’t showin’, keep on goin’!

Placing

The last place- fail, loser, embarrassing  DFL- Hero, getting your money’s worth

Icy Conditions

It looks like a treadmill day Put some screws in your shoes and get after it

See a Friend on a Run

Wave hello Stop and talk for five minutes and not worry how it affects your Strava time