If I could sum up this beaut running group in just 3 words: mud, hills, smiles.
Every Monday at 7pm. Advised to get there from 6.45pm ready to leave bang on 7!
Meet outside the Starbucks at Holland Park station
We were taken into Holland Park for #Hillz. If you’re not a fan of undulation, it’s not for you.
I clocked 3.3 miles – but it’s not really a distance-focused run.
Both Maggie and Sophie were very clear about the run being “all about you” i.e. there is no pressure to keep up with the group as such – you can push yourself as hard or as little as you so wish.
That being said, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to a brand new runner, because hills are tough and mud is tough and I think you’re better off “finding your feet” so to speak with running on some easier terrain to begin with.
WHERE DO I SIGN UP?
It’s a “turn up on the night” situation!
You can find them here though if you want to get in touch:
I actually only found Wild Trail Runners by accident really, whilst massively procrastinating with an Instagram stalk of #LondonRunning. That’s when I found Sophie Adam’s post about @wild_tr being back in the park for hills. Monday evenings on my training plan are a fortnightly alternation between “easy” recovery runs, and 3-5 miles of hill runs… I happened to be on a week of hilly Monday, so I thought I would give these guys a whirl!
Finding these guys was easy, I stepped outside Starbucks (where I’d been patiently waiting in anticipation) and found them straight away. Was immediately spotted and welcomed, introduced to everyone and kinda felt within the first 5 minutes that I’d been coming to this running group all my life. SO SO welcoming, and really can’t thank Maggie and Sophie enough for that. Not to mention the seasoned runners who are clearly very committed to Wild TR. A lot of people, I discovered, had been going for a year or more – which in my eyes, is a very positive sign. Wild TR has been going for about 2.5 years I learned, and the founders are ex-Nike-Running-Club pacers. We were in very capable hands to say the least.
Holland Park was a lot muddier than we all expected, and on any occasion I definitely would recommend that you wear trail running shoes if you have them. I personally don’t even own any trail runners, and got on okay with my Nike Pegasus Zoom’s, but definitely would’ve benefitted from more grip.
After a warm-up, the run itself was lapped intervals of a moderate incline followed by a gentle/longer slope back down. We did one lap at 65% intensity, one at 85% intensity, then had a 90 second rest period. Last night we were slightly time-restricted, as we didn’t want to get locked into the park at closing time of 8pm – but normally I think the Wild TR guys squeeze a bit more into the session too.
The running coach for the evening, Adam, was fantastic. Pushed us just enough but not too much, and you could tell that he really actually gave a shit about the runners there, which was nice. On one of my 90-second rest periods, Adam spoke to me about my running stride and what I can focus on to make my running more efficient. This, in itself I believe, speaks volumes about how much they are all really paying attention to how you are getting on with the run and making sure you’re doing ok! He took a video without my knowing, and actually showed me what was actually happening with each stride – actually really interesting stuff as I never knew I extended my legs quite that much. But anyway, that’s another topic entirely.
Anyway, all in all a very lovely muddy running group with a very talented photographer to boot – (nataliasalminen.com) – which is where these surrounding images have come from. I will definitely swing back around the next time hill-running crops up on my plan, and I would highly recommend if you like trail running and friendly people.