November Mountain Running Essentials Course

3rd Oct 2012

Photo: Ben Winston

WHEN - 16th/17th/18th NOVEMEBR 2012


HOW MUCH: £165 per person

Above: The March 2012 Mountain Running Essentials course. Photo: Ben Winston


We are very happy to be working with Joe Faulkner and his team at NAV4 for the provision of our exclusive Mountain Running Essentials™ courses.

This course is has been specifically designed for mountain runners and mountain marathon competitors and is highly relevant to less experienced competitors wishing to take part in any of our three events; the Dragon’s Back Race™, Dark Mountains™ or the Great Lakeland 3Day™. It is also recommended for novice competitors at the Original Mountain Marathon, Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, Rab Mountain Marathon, Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon and many other similar events.

What makes the Mountain Running Essentials™ course different is that it has been designed by, and all the coaching and instruction will be delivered by, mountain runners.

Joe Faulkner is a veteran of the 1992 Dragon’s Back Race™ and remarkably, also competed the 2012 Dragon’s Back Race™. He is also the original organiser of the Great Lakeland 3Day™ and has completed many mountain marathons and adventure races. Combined with his professional background providing outdoor instructional courses, he is the ideal person to lead our expert coaching and training. Joe holds the Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA) and Winter Mountain Leader Award.

The course will take place on the weekend of the 16th-18th November 2012 based at Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre in North Wales.

The cost of the Mountain Running Essentials™ course is £165 per person and includes bunkhouse accommodation in Bryn Eagan Cottage on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th. No food or meals are provided but full catering facilities are available in Bryn Eagan Cottage. It is also possible to eat at Plas y Brenin or in the local pubs.

Our last Mountain Running Essentials Course (held in March 2012) sold out so please don’t delay in securing your place by downloading and completing the Booking Form at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions please contact Joe Faulkner direct on

Friday 16th November

Meet at Bryn Eagan Cottage with informal introductions in the PYB bar.

The provisional program for the weekend is:

Saturday 17th November

0915 - Briefing and Q&A

1000 to 1430 - Navigation Skills for Runners
In small groups (maximum 1:5 instructor client ratio) this will be an opportunity to learn new navigational skills or brush up on your technique. There will be plenty of opportunity for running later, so this part of the weekend will be done at walking pace with the focus entirely on navigational skills. We will cover the following: Contour Interpretation, Rough vs Fine Navigation, Map Setting, Compass Skills, Map Reading and Interpretation, Route Planning, Relocation and Pacing.

Above: Getting the navigational basics right. Photo: Ben Winston

Unless the weather is really poor, lunch will be eaten on the hill. If not, there will be a short break before starting the afternoon workshops. It is possible that the morning and afternoon sessions are swapped depending on the weather.

1500 to 1800 – Group Discussion, Practical and Theory workshops:

Event Insights
Get the benefit of Joe’s immense experience as he shares his insights into adventure and mountain racing over the last twenty years.

Event Strategy
How to optimise your chances of finishing your chosen race.

Equipment and Clothing
An examination of the mandatory and optional kit lists at events and how to select the right items. What to leave behind and what is essential!

Nutrition and Hydration
Practical advice on the benefits of optimal nutrition and hydration, food choices whilst on the hill including electrolytes, gels and cooking at overnight campsites.

Weather Impact
How the weather affects performance, route choice and kit requirements and what you can do to minimise its impact on your race.

First Aid Essentials
A refresher session on first aid skills for the most likely scenarios a mountain runner will encounter including hypothermia, hyperthermia, hypoglycemia, casualty care and much more.

Training Advice
Advice on a training strategy that’ll get you to the start line injury free and in optimal condition.

1800 - 2000
Free Time. The workshops may over run into this time. This is a good opportunity to grab a light meal before the Night Navigation Exercise.

Above: Learning to navigate in the darkness. Photo: Ben Winston

2000 to 2200 - Night Navigation Exercise
Darkness provides the toughest test of navigational competence and our Night Navigation Exercise will give you the chance to put into practice the skills learnt in the morning. People will able to participate in pairs or individually. We will all meet for last orders in the PYB bar afterwards.

Sunday 18th November

0900 - Briefing and Q&A

Above: The Mountain Running Challenge is always a highlight of the weekend. Photo: Ben Winston

0930 to 1400 – Mountain Running Challenge
The Mountain Running Challenge is likely to be a linear course (details TBC) finishing back at Plas y Brenin. Course participants will need to navigate between checkpoints and the route will be designed to have a similar feel to a mountain marathon course. There will be variations in the course length and to accommodate the faster and slower runners.

1400 to 1500 - Debrief and Q&A
The different course lengths of the Mountain Running Challenge means that most participants will complete it at a similar time. Debriefing will be informal and this is an opportunity for people to seek personal recommendations and insights from the instructors.