Our monthly trail runs take us out of the big smoke in to the countryside, so we can run off road and up some hills! The runs are not a race and we run in groups, usually on a combination of paths, country lanes, tracks, farmland, tow paths and everything else in between. Mud is sometimes involved as is running up one or two hills to get the lungs going and also so you can see the lovely views from the top!
The runs are mapped and planned in advance but can be challenging, we never leave anyone behind. We always stop at the top of the hills to take in the view (and to get our breath back) and to gather as a group before we head off again.
Where do LFR trail runs take place?
We tend to get a train out of London so that we can explore different parts of the countryside. Runs are always a circular route so we can run from a station and return to it later to get the train back to London. In the past we have run in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey & Sussex. All over the place really! But some of our trail runs have been closer to home in places like Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park/Wandsworth Common.
How do I get to a trail run?
We will arrange a specific train to meet on. Most people will meet at the main train terminus in time to get their tickets and a coffee. Others make their own way to the destination station in time to run.
When do they happen?
Trail runs happen once a month on a Sunday. We usually run in the morning so that we can find a nice country pub afterwards for some lunch. Runs are announced in the weekly e-bulletin and a Facebook event will be created for those in the LFR Members Group.
What gear do I need to bring?
This is somewhat weather dependant. Trail running shoes are recommended, especially when it is wet underfoot, but not always necessary. Regular running shoes will be fine on most runs but if you fall in love with trail running then you should invest in a pair of trail running shoes at a later date.
We recommend you always bring some water (or a sports drink), wear sunscreen in warmer months and have some snacks. We also recommend you have a change of clothes for afterwards. If you are sweaty or if we get caught in the rain you will appreciate some dry socks and at least a change of top at the end. In wetter weather a waterproof/wind proof jacket is a good idea too. If you keep an eye on the forecast and on the Facebook event we will give advice in advance of each run.
Will there be changing facilities?
When we do a trail run arrive ready to run as there won’t be changing facilities. We sometimes have lovely volunteers who have their cars and are happy to store our bags whilst we run but this is not guaranteed so we ask people to arrive ready to run and be able to run with their backpacks if necessary.
How fit do I need to be?
These are sociable runs, not races. But they can be challenging as they usually involve some hills. Distances vary but they can be between 7 or 8 miles up to 12 or 13 miles long and some are hillier than others. So we ask that you are able to run at least these distances. If that seems too much we recommend you take up the training offer from our LFR coaches on Wednesday nights. They sometimes involve hill training on Primrose Hill so a great way to get started with some hills. Saying that we will run as a group and never leave anyone behind and they tend to be run at a leisurely pace.
Trail runs are a great way to meet other runners from the club that you may not know. So keep an eye out for information in the weekly e-bulletin and on Facebook. Hopefully see you out there soon!