Get into fell running

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Get into fell running

  • Training weekends
  • Mar 7 - 8
  • 2020

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.

In the deep end

The run for the first day is all about learning how to assess the weather as well as develop an efficient & safe technique over rough, steep terrain.

The weather was grim but educational. Strong, cold winds with gusts up to 60mph and thick mist to disorient. If you can't find the fun and beauty in these conditions then fell running is probably not for you. It did, however, appear to be for Jo, Emma, Liz and Ronnie. They all embraced the conditions and worked hard to push the ascent to reach the summit of Moel Eilio. No complaints and all smiles.

The reward, a wonderful cushioned descent down the NE ridge. We worked on the different techniques for tackling a variety of gradients and soon they were bounding down the slope. They most certainly looked bitten by the fell running bug.

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.

Getting from A to B

The second day is all about route planning & navigation.

The afternoon prior, the group had been taught the theory of navigation. Now they needed to put it all into practice, navigating themselves around sections of a route. Over morning coffee they were all given a small map and challenged to plot a series of checkpoints between which they need to figure out how to get from one point to another.

They worked on annotating their map with compass bearings and identifying where things could go wrong, building in strategies to mitigate a navigation whoopsie.

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.

Where am I?

Being able to relocate & work through a set of principals to get 'unlost' is an important skill.

We all get lost from time to time. This isn't a problem as long as you know how to get out of it. The first rule is not to panic. The second is to logically work through a set of principals and systematically figure out your position.  

The second half of the run concentrated on this, with the group being challenged to relocate at intervals. They all showed excellent progression throughout the run, confidently working as a team to make decisions and guide themselves.

Thanks, guys for being such good fun as well as sticking in when you became tired or pushed out of your comfort zones a little. A wonderful weekend working with a delightful bunch.

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