Run the Wild Times

Exploring places... not running races.

2014 December Issue - No.3

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Welcome to Run the Wild's third newsletter! 
We hope you enjoy the articles and from all the team here, we
wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Team @ Run the Wild

Top 5 tips to get you motivated to run this winter

Karin Voller - Ultra Trail Runner

If you are reading this newsletter, then chances are I don't need to wax lyrical about the joys of putting on a pair of trainers on a summers evening, and getting outdoors to enjoy the best of British weather, whether that’s racing through rolling green countryside, or sprinting past the crowds that are gathering outside the pubs on the Thames. Fast forwards 4 months, where you only see the measly 7 hours of daylight at the weekend, or while popping out to get a sandwich at lunch. Or perhaps for the countryfiles, where winter running means knee deep in muddy trails, trying to spot tree roots, horse manure, or quagmire, all nicely blended to the same shade of brown, and then the subsequent hour spent cleaning the trail you left through the house on the way from front door to shower, and lack of street lit runs, meaning its either once round the block, a lonely head torch run through the Blair Witch inspired woods, or running becoming a weekend only hobby. Either way, winter means it’s tough to get outside and get motivated for even the most dedicated of runners.

For some people the "congratulations, you have a place" magazine from the London Marathon that drops onto your doorstep just as the clocks are changing, is enough to start putting some serious training in, but for others, training for trainings sake at this time of year takes an extra human effort. I am most certainly one of these despite having notched up numerous (and respectable, even if not impressive) marathon times, as well as a number of ultras. Below are a few suggestions, but there really is only one motivator behind them all...give your running meaning.

So... what do I mean by that?

1 - Multitask
This can take various forms. A common one is combining your running with your commuting. Although not feasible for everyone, certainly in the bigger cities, where transport is pretty grim in winter, crowding onto over packed trains dressed for minus 15 degrees, while the air temperature is nearer 40 degrees, and where the roads are well lit, providing mile after mile of runnable surfaces, it’s a great way of doing something you have to do, while getting some much needed training in too. A comfortable running pack, head torch and reflective gear are a must, but these are useful to have in any discerning runners wardrobe anyway. If we take London, its only 7.5miles on the main road from Clapham to Canary Wharf. Yes it takes time to cross roads, and dodge drunken Christmas party goers, but especially running on the east/west axis, the river provides a great natural constant footpath. Start out with the aim of running just to a nearby tube stop, and before long you will be finding the ease and satisfaction of running outweighs the 2minutes of discomfort as you walk out of the warm office into the cold, and your two feet have become your main form of transport.

2 - Multitasking take 2
Another great idea is combining your running with that "to do" list. Perhaps you need to go to the bank to pay a cheque in, pop to the post office, go to Waitrose and order the Christmas Turkey, or even visit Tiffany's to pick up that little eggshell blue box for a loved one's Christmas present. Or perhaps this year some of your Christmas cards can be hand delivered, saving you money at the same time as getting you fit. Its insanely satisfying getting these fairly mundane tasks done, while also ticking off a few miles.

3 - Find a friend
A sure fire way of getting yourself out in even the worse of the weather is having agreed to run with someone. Joining a local running club works just as well as long as you establish the routine of going each week and building up a friendship group. It not only gets you out there, but makes the experience more enjoyable also...misery loves company after all! An alternative to a human companion (and again this could fall under multitasking) is taking your pooch out running with you. It’s a great way to get them out and about, bond with your dog, and get you fit. Unless there is a huge mismatch between your dog’s ability to cover ground and your own (nobody is suggesting Mo Farrah should be out running with a Daschund), most dogs love the excitement of running with their owner. Nowadays, with the ever growing popularity of sports like Canicross, there are plenty of harnesses available, and bungee leads, to make the run smoother for you both.

4 - Increase the pressure
This one doesn't work for everyone, but does for many - sign up to a few events over the winter season. Mix up the distances, and style of event, to keep yourself interested and vary the training. If you typically do marathons, why not try a 5k. if you normally run 10k races, try one of the increasingly popular obstacle course style events. A fun one this time of year is also the numerous "Santa Dash" which are held across the company and usually held for charity. Knowing you have a near term deadline is sometimes enough to focus the mind.

5 - Reward yourself
Let’s face it, it’s the time of the year for excesses. Whether that’s too much food or drink, or late nights, it all takes its toll on the body. There are just shy of 700 calories in a 13% bottle of wine. for many of us, that equates to over an hour of running. By setting yourself goals that you then treat yourself for (I don't suggest you make these alcohol based), you earn more treats by the more you pound the pavements. These don't have to be calorie in vs calorie out. Maybe say if you manage 12 runs in December, you will book an hours massage at a local spa, or buy yourself that *insert coveted item here* that you wanted. Everything is worth more if you have worked hard for it, and its great psychology for even hardy runners.

And as a final tip… remember the real challenge is taking that very first step. Once you are out, it’s never quite as cold, never quite as wet, and never quite as painful as you thought it might be...

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.

New dates added to run around Mt Blanc...

By popular demand we now have 3 groups running around Mt Blanc. It's one of the most stunning routes in the Alps and if you are thinking of completing the UTMB a real must!  Whatever your reason, circumnavigating the highest mountain in Western Europe is an amazing running adventure. We break down the 100 mile route into manageable distances over 6 days. We still have places for our second week in July and September but registrations for this amazing running adventure are running out (no pun intended) - only 7 spaces left! Full logistic support, lead runner and accommodation is all included. As with all our trips we run as a team which heightens the social element. Spaces are limited - so sign up early

We are also arranging bespoke trips for specific route recces so if you are running the CCC, TDS or UTMB but want to break it down into 2 or 3 days, please get in touch.

How to navigate the Christmas treats and not pile on the pounds

‘Tis the season to be jolly...though too much merriment will make it much harder on your body to get out running, and to speed up the pace. There have been a number of studies done, but in reality it’s nearly impossible to isolate the effect of just weight loss/gain and running speed. Very crudely each additional pound adds approximately 2 seconds per mile to time. Often weight loss or gain is directly linked to an increase or decrease in exercise, and therefore fitness, but it’s worth thinking about nonetheless as you stand in the coffee queue deciding between that milk-less green tea, and that festive drink. Without getting too scientific about it, most runners burn roughly 600 calories per hour of average tempo based running. So for each hour of running in the lead up to Christmas, what have you neutralised?

2 tall gingerbread lattes (yes...with cream of course)
or 60 boiled Brussels sprouts
or 320g of Roast turkey
or 6 pigs in blankets
or 1 large portion of Christmas cake with brandy butter and custard
or a bottle of wine (12% vol)

...sounds like it’s time to put the trainers on then!

New trips for 2015 announced!

There are now 2 more weekend trips in the Alps. They are both within striking distance of Geneva and therefore very easy to get to. We have tailored two completely different runs which are aimed at Intermediate and Advanced trail runners. These trail runs will build on experience that you already have or indeed have gained through our beginner weekend - the Intro to the Alps. As per usual they are fully guided and all the logisitcs are provided.

The Intermediate weekend takes you on a running adventure outside the Chamonix valley and off to explore the beautiful National Nature Reserve of Passy. On the way you will pass Mt Buet and cross through the line of Aiguilles that border the Western side of the Chamonix valley. It's away from the crowds and a good way to build up for our longer TMB run - if you have done just a bit of trail running, you are in for an amazing time!

The Advanced weekend is a tough challenge with a lot of ascent but each participant will be well rewarded with some breathtaking ridge line trail runs. Each afternoon we head back to a cosy valley hotel for wine and dinner. Just thinking about it makes me want to get out there!

As with all our Alps runs you will be led by a qualified International Mountain Leader.

Spring next year...

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

New for 2015...

Gear Event with Cotswold Outdoors - Details TBA...

Merrell Pack...

Top 5 Things You Miss While at Work and not Outside!

Merrell Pack...

5 Things a Runner Thinks About on a Trail Run

From the benefits of an active lifestyle to finding adventure on the trail, when you’re stuck in an office all day, you miss out on the outdoors. Here’s our list of 5 things you miss while at work instead of outside. Check out the Merrell Blog.

What goes through your head on a trail run? When you’re trail running, there’s a lot that’s vying for your attention – rocks, roots, steep hills, breath-taking landscapes and even wild animals on occasion. Check out the Merrell Blog.

New Gear Partners

The RtW team has continued to review relevant products and also secure discounts for you - the adventure runners. Kit is important and it's often a costly investment, so I'm really proud to announce our affiliation with Cotswold Outdoors. They have a fantastic variety of kit and also stores nationwide. If you sign up to one of our events you will receive a promotional discount. We continue to be proud partners with GU (nutrition), Injinji (socks), Aarn (packs) and Suprabeam (torches). 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!

What to expect in 2015

We had an amazing season this year, thank you to everyone who was involved in this our first year! 2015 is going to be even better! We have some amazing new trips to sign up to as well as some usual favourites. New for 2015 we will also be hosting a joint event with Cotswold Outdoors in London in the New Year where you will get the low-down from impartial specialists of what gear this season is hot for trail running - more details to follow on Facebook and Twitter. Later in the year we will be co-hosting some talks by explorers and adventurers, part of our inspiration program.

Want to know more about what clients think of us check out the testimonies and trip photos from 2014. Most dates are already up for 2015 so sign up today!

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!

Copyright © 2014 Run the Wild Limited, All rights reserved.

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