As event day gets closer, it’s a really good idea to think about your race strategy and visualise how things will go on the day. Irish fitness coach and Brooks Run Happy Ambassador, Andrew Moore, aka @fitnessgoose, shares his top 6 top trail run race tips for first time competitors.

1. Visibility

It is important to see what is in front of you on a trail, so give space to the runner in front of you to have more visibility of the trail. This will allow for easier scanning of obstacles.

2. Passing & being passed 

If you go too quickly but begin to tire, it is advised to listen out for runners behind you who may say “on your left’ or “on your right”. That means they are about to pass. This is all about trail etiquette and is quite normal. You may also find yourself re-passing these runners again.

3. Strategy

A trail race is more strategic than road running. While you might feel that uneven terrain is not for you. You might quickly notice how some runners are really good at going downhill, and then suffer on the uphill (and vice versa). There are many ways to run a trail run.

4. Warming up

Make sure you warm up for your race. You will want to do at least 3-5 strides of 15-20 seconds at race effort (within a 10–15-minute jog). If some of these can be done on a hill similar to the start of the first hill of the race, this could be helpful.

5. Trail pace

For a first timer, I would advise against trying to run at your 10K road pace. You will not hold this in a 10K trail run with 250 metres of elevation. A course such as this can cost you over a minute per kilometre in certain places. Think 10K race effort/feel and you will stand a better chance.

6. Power hiking

You might not want to do it. You might not feel like it. But at some point in the race the chances are that you will need to walk/power hike. This is completely normal. My advice is to power hike earlier so that you can actually power hike and not just walk.

7. Gaelforce 10K Trilogy

A trilogy of 10k trail runs in inspired locations on Ireland’s east coast. Run one, two or all three to complete the Gaelforce 10K Trilogy. 
Gaelforce 10K Kippure | Gaelforce 10K Bray | Gaelforce 10K Howth