So I might have done something a little dumb and signed up for a mountain trail run somewhere I’ll be in about 6 months for work; why might this be dumb? Because I don’t live near mountains or significant trails to train on. Also, I don’t actually do much trail running; I’m more of a road/sidewalk runner. The 25k distance doesn’t bother me, but the first few miles going about 1,000 feet almost straight up? That makes me nervous. So what do I do? Get books and study up on trail running, obvs. Practical comes later; I’ve got several months to get in shape.
Runner’s World Complete Guide to Trail Running, Trail Running from Start to Finish, and The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running all have something useful, but definitely for different audiences. Of the set, Trail Running from Start to Finish is likely the least useful because it concentrates so much on physiology, and I’m more concerned right now about basic techniques and training regimen ideas. However, this is the only one of the three that includes idea for exercises on a wobble board/bosu/stability disc/proprioception boards, which all three books mention as being a good idea specifically for trail running. I’m going to have to copy those pages before this one goes back to the library.
Both of the other two are decent general guides, but the difference for me is in the amount of personal anecdotes; I was a little surprised that the Ultimate Guide had more of them than Runner’s World. Runner’s World also has more guidance on training schedules. Both contain basic reviews of equipment (including a good bit on trail running shoes, though Ultimate Guide goes more into other things like poles, gel flasks, electronics, etc. as well), nutrition, technique, types of workouts, general safety (weather, animals, falling/first aid, etc.), and injuries.
Even though the Ultimate Guide has more tidbits you may not necessarily think about (posture for taking on a steep ascent or descent, where to keep your gaze, and such), for me Runner’s World seems like the guide I’m more likely to refer back to, so that’s the one I’m probably going to buy.