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Thread: From forest to hill

  1. #1
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    From forest to hill

    Hello all

    I have to say, a few months ago I never thought I'd consider running let alone running up a fell but times have changed!

    25 years ago I was a keen walker in the lakes but it fizzled out when I changed jobs and began a sedentary life. A few years ago I moved to the Forest of Dean and once again started to walk. less than a year ago I lost 9 stone, recovered from bilateral breast cancer, gave diabetes and hypertension the heave ho. I've decided anything is now possible; so I'd like to run up a big hill for my 50th (February 2018).

    A few weeks ago I started running forest trails using a 0-10k app. I know it's not intended for off road use but Tarmac bores me and the hills are a real challenge. I'm alternating run days with elliptical torture in my garage, much to my surprise I find running easier.

    My question is this; at what point would you suggest I try my first fell run? I was thinking of making it to 10K in the forest first, is this a reasonable goal?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. #2
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    Firstly, losing 9 stone is mighty impressive!

    Secondly, I would suggest trying a race at any time, as long as the distance is not more than you have done on your runs in the Forest. As well as those on the FRA calendar, have a look at the Welsh FRA calendar http://www.wfra.me.uk (click on "Upcoming races" at the top): this has lots of races in Wales and the border counties of England, some of which aren't in the FRA calendar. Obviously you are likely to be near the back of the field on your first race, but no-one will mind that, and you will find that everyone is very friendly.

  3. #3
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    Hi

    Many thanks for your reply Anthony. I hadn't realized until now that I posted in the wrong section, can any admin wiz move this conversation to the beginner thread please? (Sorry).

    Loosing the weight was the easiest thing I've done over the last year, when I make up my mind to do something I'm like a Rottweiler with a bone, I don't give up! I'm only doing about 3 miles a day at the moment, I didn't think that would be enough experience to enter a race. I'm not sure about competing, just completing a run is enough reward for me at the moment. I will give it serious consideration though.

    Thank you too for the link as well, I'll have a look and investigate further. My friends all think I'm nuts and it would be very nice to meet others that enjoy the outdoors. I haven't met anyone on my runs yet, I can't believe I have this area all to myself! My first run, I ran along side a herd of deer and yesterday I met a huge make boat but sadly no humans!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    if you're doing 3 miles a day every day, that's pretty good going! Make sure you're getting some reasonable hills into your usual running and go for it! The Shropshire Summer Series are good to start with and there's an equivalent Welsh version.

    You do know, though, that you can go fell running and not race? Just go to some hills and have a go!
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PeteS's Avatar
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    I seem to remember there are quite a few hills in the forest of Dean. I would suggest working up to 10 k and then gradually incorporating into your training as many hills as you can find. Some of the Shropshire races are probably worth a look - some are quite short and beginner friendly. Carding mill canter springs to mind.
    Enjoy!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your advice Dave & Pete

    The Forest of Dean is quite hilly but nothing like the fells and it's quite a small area in comparison. I am doing lots of hills already and have been since the day I started. They still make me huff a lot and if I pick a savage slope I walk up if necessary, I'm not daft. 3 miles doesn't seem that far at the moment and it's over in a flash, somehow I have it in my mind that a fell race is like an endurance marathon!

    I love running on the twisting paths in the trees, jumping over roots and puddles, makes me feel alive. As this is posted in the tech thread I will say that my new shoes are performing very well, I splashed out on a pair of saucony exodus 6. I don't have much experience of running shoes and I thought the vibram sole might make them too stiff but when you're running over dodgy ground, you can still feel what's beneath your feet and they have enough cushioning for a whoopsie like me. Very pleased.

    I will have a look at the Shropshire races and maybe go for a trial run over there one weekend, thanks

    Rachel (aka Clompy)

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Many people 'drift' into fellrunning from hill walking Rachel and the strength and experience gained in the hills is invaluable. It sounds like you're doing great. Best of luck
    Poacher turned game-keeper

  8. #8
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    Thanks very much Derby Tup

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    doesn't seem that far at the moment and it's over in a flash
    the next Shropshire race is the Caradoc Classic: I ran it in 31:06 last year.....
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  10. #10
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    Wow, I don't think you'll be having any competition from me Dave!

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