A training trail run NEF-style!

Having read the FABULOUS blog post from rara’s rules for living it’s time for us to put OUR slant on this trail running lark.

THIS is how to put together a training run for maximum success & enjoyment:

First plan your route well in advance and work out how far you want to run.  Ideally this should be part of a longer term running plan but it may be that you just fancy running a 10k or 15k one Sunday.   When looking at the trails – make sure you think about the profile of the hills as part of your planning!

‘one way’ runs are much more fun (especially if you have the wind behind you all the way!) so get a friendly car driver to meet you at the other end with the promise of cake

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Next … sort out your kit for the run.   A light backpack an essential then fill it, these are my top tips …


WATER if it’s a warm one and if you’re going to be running over 10k.  A good way to practise for race day.  Soft bottles; hard bottles or bladder: personal preference.

Some sort of sugar treat for the run – will keep you going if the going gets tough.  You can add caffeine to the mix but take care with that one!  REAL food is even better and worth experimenting with.

Cash in case it all goes terribly wrong and you need to phone for a taxi home – AND for coffee and cake when you get to the end.

Glasses to protect your eyes a good option for the trails.  Branches and brambles can be a real hazard.  Changeable lenses a treat:   red or yellow ones my favourite.

Your watch or phone app – a MUST for the geeks amongst us so you can track your run and revisit it later.  ALSO for safety you can set your phone to ‘find my friend’ so you’re never really alone.

A buff or similar – to use as hat, neck, scarf, sweat band etc etc.   LOOK at the new NEF ones – perfect to get you noticed.

Blister plasters in case of emergencies – ALWAYS cover up at the first sign of trouble – they may not save your toenails but they can reduce the damage.

NEXT choose your shoes … think terrain and conditions and you’ll soon realise that you need to have at least three pairs to choose from on any one day.


Next.. the obligatory short warm-up.  You’ll be running for over an hour and a half and five minutes spent mobilising the joints at the beginning will pay dividends 10k in.  And YES it’s sad but true that the older you are the more you need to remember this part of your run.  You want to stay injury free?  It’s worth every minute!


2k down the road time to iron out any sore bits … in this case Alice’s calves were suffering after her 20 mile walk the day before.  Bridges always a good stopping place!


Half way round and time for a drink stop … and if you spot a swing in a field miles from anywhere … there’s only one thing to do …


Highest part of the run and a panorama to show just HOW beautiful the Hampshire countryside is.  One of the many reasons to take to the trails and avoid the roads.photo4-2

Nearly there and time for a final stretch before the 2k climb up the hill from the Bush … perfectly situated bridge and local dog walkers to distract.


And THE END …the look of relief when you’ve rounded that last corner.


…then there’s the well earned cake.


…sporting the bandana look and amazing how quickly the spirits rise again.   ESSENTIAL to get fuelled up again after a good long run, it aids the recovery massively!  5C9694C8-7525-4F6E-8F1A-C9DC0E36B26F

And then there’s the data to look at and the realisation that we’ve just run the majority of the run going uphill.  This is where you can bore your friends and family senseless with tales of steep hills and mud


…and justify the coffee and cake …if we ever needed justification.


Here’s to the next one, all you trail runners out there.
Thanks to Matt and Alice for a great run.   Marathon anybody?? 🙂



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