Peter's fell running weekend

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Peter's fell running weekend

  • Training weekends
  • Oct 12 - 13
  • 2019

Location base: Llanberis, Snowdonia, North Wales, UK

General Information

Learn how to run efficiently over any terrain, as well as develop map & compass skills so you can plan routes to run suitable for your experience.

These events concentrate on learning techniques to run efficiently over any terrain, as well as develop map & compass skills. As such the running pace is very steady with a lot of stop-start. It's normal to fast-hike the uphills. Friday evening is a bonus run for the travel-legs of around 4-5 miles, low level. Distances on Saturday and Sunday are between 6-10 miles with up to 1200m ascent. The typical 'time on legs' is 2-3 hours on Saturday with 3-4 hours on Sunday.

Technique training

It was supposed to be grim. Instead, the forecast had shifted to provide perfect conditions.

Peter worked hard on the first big ascent to Moel Eilio. We had previously spent a few hours in the cafe discussing how to assess the weather as well as make decisions on what to wear, pack, eat and drink. As a roadrunner focussed on improving his pace, Peter's hard work with his training was apparent. The fitter you are, the more 'fun' your fell runs will be.

Fun - the usage in this context - is not necessarily the classic concept of the word. It's the type of fun you get from pushing yourself and hurting, as well as putting yourself out of your comfort zone. The feeling of 'enjoying yourself' is the prize. It comes at the end of achieving a section, such as a big ascent or perhaps overcoming or working through your fear of the terrain or slope. If you imagine fell running is all about enjoying yourself, then it's probably not for you. Like anything, you need to get good at. You need to work hard to achieve it.

Peter's reward following the determined hurt of trying to maintain his pace on the ascent, was the satisfaction of his effort and the wonderful views we were provided on the summit. The new fun of learning to get efficient and 'graceful' on the descents was to follow. After enjoying the roller coaster ride that is the Moel Eilio ridge, we headed back to Llanberis for an afternoon of learning how to read a map and use a compass.

Is this for you?

If you don't mind getting muddy, love beautiful scenery & want to broaden your training, then fell running is for you! To get an idea of what you'll experience, have a look at some of our photo journals.

The running sessions are focussed more on teaching you skills, so they are very steady and there is often quite a bit of stop-start. It's normal to hike the big uphills. We have strategies to deal with runners of different paces so don't be concerned if you think you may be too slow... and if you are super fit and worried that you'll be a little frustrated with the pace, we'll recommend how to manage this.

  • Experience

    If you consider yourself a beginner off-road runner or need help with your navigation, then this is for you!

    These camps are designed for runners that need help with running over technical terrain, tackling steep uphills and downhills & using a map and compass.

  • Fitness

    As long as you run regularly & can manage 10 miles in a single run then you'll be fine.

    The pace is very steady and you won't be expected to run all the hills. However, if you are up for it, you will be pushed at intervals to learn how to apply training principles to improve your running. Don't worry, I'll be kind and we always regroup and recover. At the end of the day, it's about enjoying being out in the mountains.

  • Aptitude

    It helps to have a sense of adventure.

    You do need to have an adventurous nature and be prepared to try new things in mountainous environments where the weather can be very challenging. Be open to mud. Lots of mud.

  • Curiosity

    You need to be keen to learn

    Learning to navigate, as well as how to stay safe in the mountains, is an important skill and we pack a lot into the weekend - so you need to have a thirst for knowledge & applying it.

Route planning & navigation

Sunday morning & the weather was true to the forecast... mostly.

With persistent showers on the cards, we decided to focus our route planning exercise on developing a low-level run that would take us through a variety of terrain and still provide views to take in the scenery. Peter applied all the things he had learned the day prior. He was given a series of grid references and asked to plan a route around each. He learnt how to annotate his map as well as identify sections where things could go wrong and how to build a strategy to mitigate the risk of a navigational whoopsie.

Peter showed rapid progression in navigating himself along his chosen route, demonstrating the ability to take a bearing and move on it while running, as well as make judgements on the fly when the reality of his surroundings did not match what was anticipated by the features on the map.

Thanks, Peter, for being such great fun and for working so hard, both on your pace as well as being open to learn new skills and apply them. A rewarding few days of teaching, learning, training and enjoying the beauty of our mountains and trails.

Help for your preparation

We have a strong commitment to giving our clients an experience they would not be able to achieve on their own, while at the same time empowering them with the skills to be able to aspire towards achieving that ability in the future.

In order to achieve that goal, we like to encourage you to start teaching yourself some of the theoretical aspects of off-road running. When you sign up, you'll also get 6 months membership to our academy, where you can access the 'Learn how to navigate' tutorials, as well as other relevant lessons we add over time.

While these events are not 'fitness camps', we also like to provide some support for your training leading up. The fitter you arrive the more you will enjoy it, so we'll give you training prompts to help you arrive in the best condition.

What you receive

We keep our group sizes small so that you get plenty of one-on-one time with your guide. By the end of the weekend, you'll be equipped with the knowledge & skills to start committing to building running into your life in a safe & sustainable way. 

The full weekend of activities gives you:

  • Fully insured running guides with Mountain Leader and First Aid qualifications
  • One-to-one as well as group coaching during the event
  • Gait assessment and development of better technique
  • Advice on training plans and how to avoid over-training or burnout
  • Digital Photo album of the weekend
  • 6 months access to our Academy
  • 15% off at Joe Browns gear shops


Kit requirements