Run the Wild Times

Exploring places... not running races.

2019 Spring Issue - No.21

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Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! 

Spring is such a great time of the year to get out on the trails! The days are getting longer, there is more warmth in the sunshine, and that grey-scale of winter trails is turning into full saturation blues and greens! We also have some great trail adventures to inspire you!

In this newsletter you will find features on: Training - getting out of your zone; Adventures - Coffee Capers; Map Reading - Geographically challenged series; fun UTMB facts - did you get your ballot place? Gear reviews - ideal torch for camping and of course a round-up of our 2019 calendar.

We hope you enjoy the articles. See you out on the trails!

The Team @ Run the Wild

Getting out of your zone

Written by Mark Hadaway, Trail Running Guide for Runners Need

In the world of fitness and sports performance we often hear reference for the need to ‘get in the zone’. It therefore might seem somewhat counter-intuitive to be told to get ‘out of your zone’ but there’s good reason for it – performance improvement. As many of us enter 2019 with exciting fitness goals, Run the Wild’s Mark Hadaway explains how getting out of your zone, could make a real difference to your performance.

Humans are fascinating creatures, especially when it comes to the psychology of exercise. Most of the time, people are happy to push themselves into a zone I refer to as ‘comfortably-uncomfortable’. Regardless of duration of session, it’s that zone that feels ‘tough enough’ but also ensures a fair degree of self-preservation. Think of it as somewhere between an eight to 8.5 on an effort level scale of one to 10.

Now, before we go any further, it must be stated that there is nothing wrong with the ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone. In fact, there are many benefits to be had from spending time within that zone – for example, tapping on the that aerobic threshold door to enhance endurance sport capacity. However, and this is the key, being in the ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone should form just part of a training matrix and not be the sole basis of it. 

At this point, consider the analogy of driving a car. The ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ zone is a bit like regardless of outside conditions, journey distance or road type, jumping in the driver’s seat and putting your foot on the throttle so you speed along at 70mph. You simply wouldn’t do it, you couldn’t do it and you know it wouldn’t be good for anyone, least of which being the car itself. The reality is you drive differently to suit different situations – and your training should be exactly on a par with that.

Continue reading...

10km & Coffee Cupping in the Chilterns!

UK Adventures - Coffee Capers

Get your caffeine and trail running hit with this awesome afternoon event in the Chiltern Hills and Ashridge Forest (as featured in Trail Running Magazine)! This is a unique opportunity not only to learn about trail running and check out some hidden trails on a 10km guided route, but also learn some of the secrets of coffee roasting from the expert roasters and baristas at the Musette Cafe.

Do you know where your beans come from? How they make decaffeinated coffee? What is a flat white?!

You'll experience an exclusive coffee cupping session (coffee tasting), an introduction to roasting as well as a blind tasting coffee quiz all hosted in the picture perfect village of Aldbury, famous for its filming location.

£25 Registration includes; fully guided 10km trail run in the Chilterns just 30mins by train from London, led by qualified UK Athletic coaches with advice and tips on trail running, bag storage, coffee / soft drink, 2 hour exclusive coffee cupping at the Musette Cafe, discounts with Runners Need, Cotswold Outdoors, Snow+Rock, Cycle Surgery, Montane and Be Fit Apps.

Places are limited! Sign-up here!

Geographically Challenged?

Simon James from Run the Wild

Since the popularity of trail running is exploding we wanted to take a look at this important skill of this sport, not getting lost when you step off the pavement!!

This is a series of articles about how to avoid getting lost and indeed what to do if you think you are! Before you yawn and turn away thinking this is going to be just another map reading article, think again! There is far more to map reading than just using a compass and a conventional map, there are also many natural navigational tools you can use along the way which can make it much more interesting.

In this series we will be sharing our practical tips of how to stay on the right path in wild areas of the UK and Europe as well as understanding how this can practically relate to trail running. We all hear far to often of people getting lost in the hills either in races or just indeed on leisurely hikes. Even a GPS has limited capacity in route finding and of course there is always user error! I suspect there are many levels of understanding of this skill, so let's start at the very beginning...

Continue reading...

A closer look at the Tour du Mont Blanc...

Europe Adventures

You may have found yourself to be one of the lucky handful of people to get into this year's UTMB ballot, or maybe it's something like you'd like to do in the future! It's an incredible feat and a truly unforgettable experience of a lifetime. But the route which it follows, the Tour du Mont Blanc has been around far longer than the race which is held at the end of every August.

Here are just a few facts about the route:

  • The route is normally hiked in around 12 days

  • It was Horace Bénédicte de Saussure in 1776 who was the first known person to walk the whole route (he also made the 3rd summit of Mt Blanc and features on a famous statue in Chamonix dedicated to its ascent after coming up with the idea, offering a reward who made the first ascent)

  • The first Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc race was held in 2003, 772 runners started, only 67 finished

  • More than 30% on average DNF on the UTMB

  • Most people navigate anticlockwise, as does the UTMB

  • The original TMB route, like the UTMB has changed over many years and has a lot of variants to explore, take a map if you're going self-guided!

  • The overall UTMB winner will complete the race in around 20 hours

  • Elizabeth Hawker (UK) has been the first female 5 times, a record unbroken

  • Frenchman Xavier Thévenard has won the UTMB 3 times and is the only person to have won the UTMB's grand slam, having also won the TDS (2014), CCC (2010) and OCC (2016)

  • There used to be no prize money for winning the UTMB

  • For 3 years in a row from 2010-12 the UTMB couldn't follow the complete circuit due to horrendous weather

  • Whilst the UTMB is taking place, Chamonix contains enough lycra to shrink wrap the planet (who knows? but there is a lot!). There are around 50,000 spectators, 10,000 runners and 2,000 volunteers who support the race series

  • The highest point is just over 2,500m on the border with Switzerland

  • It's one of just a few routes where you need to carry your passport, as you pass through 3 different countries

  • It's much more enjoyable to run the route over 6 days and we've never had a DNF!

Click here if you'd like to know more about running the TMB

Head torch review for camping this spring...

Gear Reviews

If you're looking for a head torch to head off camping, then Suprabeam's latest S series is a serious contender... read the review

The 2019 Running Adventure Calendar

UK Adventures

Date: 30-31st March 2019
36 Miles over 2 Days

DISCOVER RUN THE WILD (5 places left)

Date: 13th April 2019 AM
13.1 Miles over 0.5 Day



Date: 13th April 2019 PM
10km & Coffee Tasting over 0.5 Day



Date: 16th April 2019
10km over an evening

European Alps Adventures

Date: 7-9th June 2019
16 Miles over 2 Days

Date: 14th-16th June 2019
16 Miles over 2 Days


TOUR DU MONT BLANC (1 place left)
Date: 11th-18th July 2019
104 Miles over 6 Days


Date: 13th-15th September 2019
20 Miles over 2 Days

Run the Wild gear!

Run the Wild caps available to purchase for £15. Also our high quality "Superdry" style hoodies for £40 and our highly functional morfs (like a buff) with Run the Wild logo for £10. All for sale on our website. Click here for more info


Gear Partners

Our trusted partners are: Hoka One One
Cotswold Outdoor, Runners Need, Snow + RockJulbo, Montane and Suprabeam.

We secure discounts with some of 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.

What makes us different?

When you join a Run the Wild trip you are looked after from beginning to end, you become part of Run the Wild. Your qualified guide is a member of the Run the Wild team and is supported throughout the trip by a Run the Wild logistic team including refreshments stops of local produce. We include dinner on the first night in all our adventures. There are no hidden charges. We are passionate about you having a running adventure of a lifetime, making friends and hitting the trails. Find out more here.

"Exploring places... not running races."

Keep in touch!

This newsletter is 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. If you'd like to submit an article for the newsletter please email us.

Copyright © 2019 Run the Wild Limited, All rights reserved.

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