Run the Wild Times

Exploring places... not running races.

2015 April Issue - No.5

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Welcome to Run the Wild's fifth newsletter! 
Spring is in the air and with longer days and drier trails there isn't a better time to dust off those trail shoes and go explore! We hope you find our articles useful and look forward to seeing some of you soon as our 2015 season starts.

The Team @ Run the Wild

Focus on kit... Trail Running Gear Evening

Karin Voller - Ultra Trail Runner

I'll be honest, it was maybe the promised discount on Cotswold items, along with a near empty (closed to public) shop to hunt around that lured me into buying a ticket for the teaming up of Run the Wild, with Cotswold Outdoor, for a presentation on trail running gear. Having been a keen outdoor runner for the last 15 years, I figured there probably wasn't much I could learn about the topics on discussion; running bags, trail shoes, base layers, waterproof jackets and GPS watches.  How wrong I could be! 

The evening started with an opener from founder of RtW, Simon James, who doesn't do anything by halves. Describing self sufficient runs of the Mont Blanc circuit and other impressive runs, Simon then went on to reveal (literally as it turned out) his own kit list of choice, including some very lightweight camp craft gear, tips on how to mend kit along with the ever present spork. Following this intro, the Cotswold team then kicked off with a discussion on bags first (surmised by work out what you need to carry size/weight wise, then try on every bag you get the chance to, and find the most comfy one), then onto base and outer layers. This was where science based Alex came into his own going through topics such as; on a waterproof you are paying for the breathability, not the waterproofness, and that cotton is pretty hopeless at wicking away moisture, whereas its synthetic counterparts spread the moisture so broadly it then becomes far more able to disperse the moisture into the atmosphere, and in doing so drying the fabric. His passion for the virtues of Merino wool (antibacterial and keeps warm even when wet) and his balanced view of pros and cons of other materials enlightened even the hardiest of us outdoor folk.

With Cotswold Outdoor providing an array of the various products being discussed we could all touch, feel and test the differences. At this stage the rep from Salomon/Suunto took over to run through a psychedelic rainbow of trail shoes with grip and flexibility being key, and a spectrum of ever advancing watches from Suunto that seem to do pretty much everything other than make your legs actually move. 

Rounding off the presentation, we were back to Cotswold to finish off on some other trail shoes available. I think every runner you meet has their own favourites, for their own reasons, so seeing what is available helps to perhaps remove some of our own preconceived blinkers. The idea of a rock plate mid foot strike was a new concept to me personally, and something I'll definitely look for in my next shoe, having painfully felt the lack of these numerous times before.

The Q&A uncovered a depth of both commitment and passion to running within the audience, with an ultra runner about to take on a Majorcan multi-day ultra, and a runner about to tackle the full length of the Thames in one push, amongst the group. It felt great to be among like minded people, and the discussion flowed freely around the energy drinks and snacks on offer for testing. Make sure you turn up to the next one!


Karin Voller is an experienced ultra runner and first GB female over the line on the longest stage of the Marathon Des Sables 2011 & 11th female overall.

Spring is here!

It's only a few weeks away and we will be running out our first trip for the year, 50 miles through the Chilterns. It's a great way to explore the area as well as excellent training for marathons or ultras. Not only will you get half-board accommodation, a guide and full logistic support but we also share all our expertise which will help you in your running endeavours over the summer!

Check out the Merrell blog which talks a bit more about the adventure... Make sure you sign up early if you want to join us in 2016!

Summer adventures...

The season of trail running in the Alps is about to start. We have just a handful of spaces left on the planned trips. However, if you are part of a group get in touch as we can set up bespoke trips. We still have spaces on the September TMB week and the Intermediate Alps weekend. Keep an eye out for 2016 dates!

How to cope with an injury

Simon James - Founder

Getting injured is just part of any sport and it’s how you deal with it both mentally as well as physically that can make a huge difference to your recovery. There are 2 sides to an injury, the physical side – it’s identification, it’s treatment and then rehabilitation. And then there is the less understood side, the psychological, which starts all the way from personally identifying there is a problem to finally being confident that you are back to full health once more. It’s the psychological side that I’m going to deal with here. 

To start I am not a qualified psychologist and even though I have done a couple of related modules in becoming a sports therapist it hardly makes me an expert! But I do have feelings and I have also been injured (infrequently but in major ways) so I have plenty of personal experience!
The psychology of an injury starts at the very beginning, from when you become aware that something has changed, maybe it’s pain, performance or perhaps something just feels different, you become more aware of an issue and if you are anything like me become focused on this part of your body in a rather obsessive fashion. At that point most people look up their favourite on-line forum(s), or virtual pub as my mate puts it. Forums are filled with comments such as “I have this pain on my leg (photo of finger on hurty bit included), what is it?” or “I’m running a marathon next week and snapped my ACL – can I still run it?!”

I somehow sense that forums are not always the best go to point for scientific expertise and diagnosis! And despite there being some great opinions expressed on-line as well as the purely entertaining and most people would agree this is the wrong place to get the physical side of your injury sorted! So it got me thinking that perhaps forums are more for your mental and psychological health. Suddenly realising you are not the only one, or if you are a bit egotistical that you indeed are the only one! “A problem shared is a problem halved” and all that… They clearly have a role to play so long as there is positive encouragement. Not only that but maybe they help people to accept an injury. Many comments I see, appear to suggest people initially try to ignore the obvious, that 1 week recovery from a broken leg is not enough!!  

Once you have established what the problem is, and accepted that you have it, what next? Finding out how long it will take to mend and what you can do to help against a timescale of goals is really important. It’s like training for a race and you need to be dedicated. Do your physio every day, don’t jump the steps of recovery and leap out running again too soon. Thinking positive in these stages now becomes more important, you have already gone through denial and acceptance, now it’s time to stay the course. But realistically we are all human and sometimes it feels too much or that the progress is so slow it’s unnoticeable. Often I go along to my sports therapist and we have a long chat about how I’m feeling whilst she works into my glutes. I come out of those sessions not only feeling physically better but emotionally a lot more positive. The physical side of the body is intrinsically tied to the emotional, the most obvious example of this is stomach pain induced by stress. So I recommend also talking about how you feel with the professionals you work with. Having an objective perspective on your progress is really helpful and encouraging.
Coping with an injury can be quite emotional especially if it’s stopping you from doing something you enjoy or are passionate about. So it’s better to meet this head on, like a long distance run, you will have some highs and lows but don’t give up. Everyone is different, and no two people will have the same recovery time so you may need to be patient. Chat to the professionals you are working with as well as your friends. Stick to the plan and break it down into steps. Set realistic goals and appraise your performance objectively. It won’t be long till you are back out on the trails, and stronger for the time you invested!

Autumn this year...

Run the Welsh Coast! - Night runs and dune jumping included!

New for 2015...

Watch out for more trail running lecture evenings...

Kit Review...

Which Headtorch?

Cotswold Outdoor Article...

Ways to improve your running endurance...

So given the amount of range of headtorches I decided to write up a review of the Suprabeam headtorches I use... This is my second kit review of Suprabeam products. The V3 Pro rechargeable is the most powerful head torch that Suprabeam currently make and therefore given how impressed I was with the V3 Air I thought I'd give it a try... Read More

Increasing your running endurance can have some great additional benefits to your running and to your health. As well as giving you greater stamina, it will also increase your enjoyment, improve your technique, reduce the chances of injury and allow you to go further and faster than ever before... Read More

Gear Partners

Our trusted partners are Cotswold Outdoor, Merrell (shoes), Injinji (socks), Aarn (packs), Suprabeam (torches) and GU (nutrition). We have secured discounts with our partners so if you partake in a holiday with us you will also benefit. Kit is important and it's often a costly investment that is there to look after you.

You'll also get plenty of gear advice on any one of our trips from packs to poles. If in doubt about what to buy before a trip please get in touch. We are partners with Reebok Sports Club who are on hand to provide any gym based training tips, and also PND Consulting for all things nutritional!

Update on Benno

This is the latest from one of our UK lead runners attempts to make the longest unsupported and unassisted journey across The North West Passage (NWP). Best of luck Benno!

Latest... Finally back on the sea ice, our mid-way point and resupply location lay ahead, invisible to us. However, rather than being frustrated at feeling like you aren’t getting any closer this was a welcome sight compared to the hills, rough terrain, false summits and rocks which prevent us from taking the most direct path. With the edge of an island set as our target there was a renewed vigour in our steps. We bolted out of this imaginary start gate... Read More

The NWP sought by many of the greatest explorers for over 300 years, is one of the most famous stretch of water in the world, linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Passage was first sailed by Roald Amundsen in 1906 but the area had been almost completely mapped by many Royal Naval and Hudson Bay Company expeditions including those by Parry, Ross, Rae and Franklin. Sir John Franklin would lose his life in 1847 searching for the passage and in 2014 one of his ships was finally discovered after numerous rescue and later recovery expeditions.

The North Expedition aims to emulate these great feats and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the Arctic by completing the first ever man-powered journey across the locked sea ice and set the record for the longest ever polar journey.


Keep in touch!

This newsletter will be a regular feature but if you'd like to keep up to date please follow us on the usual channels as well as keeping an eye on the website. We also want to hear from you about your favourite trails. We will send out any interesting exerts in the next edition!

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