NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!
Q: Should I expect to be able to run the same pace on roads as trails or even a treadmill, assuming the inclines are similar?
A: For the most part, if the inclines are similar, then your pacing won’t be drastically different. However, if the trails are muddy, sandy or rocky, your normal pace will feel more difficult since your footing will be less stable.
Many people also find the treadmill slows them down, as the moving belt creates a less stable surface. Part of the process of becoming a more mature runner is tuning into your body. A regular run should feel like a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the effort scale. If that means 9-minute-mile pace for you, then you could expect that on a trail that same effort might be more like 9:20.
Don’t be worried if your pace is slightly off as long as your effort is maintained to ensure a quality run.
Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.