All the latest news & views from the HellRunner team

Perfect your taper

If you’re running Hell Up North on 17 October, it’s important to approach the next two weeks strategically. Over the last few months, you will have built up your distance each week and worked hard to develop your strength, but now it’s time to control the level of training you’re doing, so that you’re on your best form for race day. Follow these tips to get your taper spot on.

  1. Rest

After countless Sundays running distances of up to 12 miles, it can feel very restricting and frustrating spending your weekends resting. However, the importance of rest to give your body time to grow, repair and recover can’t be underestimated.

If you’re worried you’ve not put in enough miles in your training, sadly, cramming in an extra long run over the next two weekends will be futile, as it’s impossible to gain any additional fitness in this time. Hence, you’re better off sticking with some shorter runs to save yourself from injury, but keep your legs ticking over.

And if you have been sticking to your schedule, don’t worry about losing your fitness in this time. When you train over a long period of time, you gradually build up a level of fitness that won’t be lost as you decrease your training in the last few weeks.

  1. Maintain a minimum level of running

You’ll be pleased (or maybe not) to know that ‘rest’ doesn’t just mean spending every day with your feet up. Doing a certain degree of training is important to maintaining your current fitness level. Working out how much to do during your taper depends on the level of running you’ve been doing – the more miles you’ve done, the longer your taper. For someone that has been doing three runs per week, we’d recommend sticking to your usual training schedule in the penultimate week but, importantly, cutting your long down to no more than half the race distance. So for Hell Up North, don’t run any further than six and a half miles. In the final week, aim for two to three shorter runs of between 20-40 minutes. Throw some speed into the mix too with 5 x 200m reps at 10K or 5K pace to keep your legs feeling lively!

  1. Get to bed early

Try to get to bed that little bit earlier, aiming for seven to nine hours a night. It sounds simple, but sleep is particularly important for boosting your recovery and also maintaining a strong immune system. Growth hormones are secreted as you sleep, which are important to your muscle recovery and repair. The lower your levels, the slower your recovery. A lack of sleep likewise comprises our immune system’s ability to fight off illnesses, and given running can lower the body’s immune defences, sleep couldn’t be more important in the run up to race day.

  1. Eat well 

Keep your immune system strong by adding an extra portion or two of vitamin-rich fruit and vegetables into your daily diet. In the final week, give slightly more emphasis to carbohydrates to top up your energy stores for the big race – particularly the evening before. For your pre-HellRunner meal, choose a meal high in carbohydrate to boost the body’s muscle glycogen stores and avoid foods high in fat and protein.

  1. Get ready!

Finalise your plan! To take the stress out of race day, get your HellRunner kit laid out the night before, get your number pinned on and the postcode (CW8 2JD) in your sat nav. Make sure you have your travel route planned the week before to ensure you get to the race on time! For travel details visit:

WATCH: Hell in the Chilts 2015

Think your tough enough for HellRunner? Watch one man’s experience of Hell in the Chilts 2015, and we’ll let you make your own mind up…

Thanks for the awesome video Joel Hackett. 


Congratulations! You’ve nearly made it and there’s only one week left! If you’ve been partaking in this from the start then a massive well done to you, you should be as fit as a fiddle by now and well prepared for Hell In The Chilts.

Now we don’t want you to overtrain, so this week’s going to ease you into the big run on Saturday. It’s also worth noting that this week, you should be getting a minimum of seven hours sleep a night.

Without further ado, here is your final week’s plan:

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It’s the penultimate week of your HellRunner training plan and you’re now into taper territory! This week, we’ve shortened the distance of your long run to 10K to save your legs for race day. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve got it easy; expect a tough strengthening session on Wednesday and a challenging hill session on Thursday. Give it your best shot HellRunners because next week it’s all about resting up before the big race. Good luck!

HellRunner Training Plan


The end is very nigh indeed my little hellions, and now it’s about time we built some speed into your runs. We should be pretty conditioned at this point, but we need to do more than run far, we need run fast too. Hence why this week,we have some intervals built in! For those that have never trained like this before, you should be running at about 85%-95% of your max speed. So yes, you will be pretty tired come the end, if you’re not, you didn’t run hard enough.

See how you get on and let us know!

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Your perfect HellRunner apparel

210835_049_mf_ZMAll 3 of the Brooks Hell Runner events will take anything you are wearing and transform it into an unrecognisable mud creature. When it comes to race day, most people opt for their oldest, forgotten gear with the intention of binning it once they’ve crossed the finish line. After all, the adrenaline of race day will fuel you on. But for the training, having the correct, technical gear can make running that much easier.

For a life on the run, the smallest features on apparel are often the most ingenious and enhancing. Conveniently located pockets and zips mean that you can take your gadgets with you without fear of them slipping out and into a mud pool.

Wicking technologies in fabrics are key to helping you stay dry and comfortable on the run by wicking moisture away from your body. Brooks’ DriLayer is a high-quality, moisture wicking fabric optimised to keep runners performing at their best. We have 10 different forms of this, tailored to different items and their purpose.220987_368_LSD_Jacket_300_CMYK

With training across the colder months, the Brooks Joyride Hoodie is a perfect piece to keep you cosy on those chilly mornings. DriLayer Sheep-ish wool keeps you warm and its natural properties will also wick moisture, inhibit odour and regulate body temperate so you don’t get too warm.

Men’s here.

Women’s here.

The Brooks LSD Lite Jacket is an essential for any runner’s wardrobe. This windproof, water-resistant piece compresses to pack away into its own pocket with a wearable elastic band and weighs less than a blueberry muffin so it won’t slow you down in the wet winter.

210840_038_mfMen’s here.

Women’s here.

The Brooks streaker long sleeve uses DriLayer Steady with thermoregulation capabilities. So regardless of the weather and obstacles you’re tackling, it will keep you running at a temperature that’s comfortable for you. See here.

The 10-week training plan from Hell – Week 7

There’s just three weeks to go until Hell in the Chilts, and you’ve reached the peak of your training plan. By now, you should be finding your long runs slightly less treacherous and your strengthening sessions a little less agonizing! Plus, as of this week, the training plan is only going to get easier and easier as you taper for the big event! This week you’ll be running 13K – your longest run to date, and almost the entire distance of Hell in the Chilts. Give it your best shot because, as of this week, you’re going to find the last three week’s a breeze.

HellRunner Training Plan Week 7

We want you!

Fancy lending a helping hand at one of our Brooks HellRunner events? We are now seeking helpers and marshals for Hell in The Chilts on Saturday 19th September at West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire and Hell up North on Saturday 17th October in Delamere Forest, Cheshire.

No previous experience is necessary but some good old-fashioned common sense, a wide smile and a ‘can-do’ attitude goes down a treat! As well as having the best possible ‘inside the ropes’ ticket to witness the unique running experience that is HellRunner, you’ll now be rewarded with a heavenly array of devilish rewards.

We’ve put together a package worth over £100! This is what our helpers will receive:

  • Limited Edition HellRunner Hoody (rrp £35.00)
  • Brooks HellRunner tech tee shirt (rrp £20.00)
  • Buff headwear (rrp £13.00)
  • De–luxe finisher’s goody bag
  • Free complimentary HellRunner entry worth up to £35. This is transferable and will be valid for 18 months from the time of issue.

If you are over 18 and would like to find out more just email us at with ‘HellRunner Marshal’ in the subject box. We’ll then be back in touch with full details.

A Honeymoon from Hell!

Most couples envisage the weekend after their wedding spent on a sunny beach somewhere tropical. John Houston and Bryony Harper, however, are not ‘most couples’. They intend to celebrate their pending marriage by running 10 hellish miles together over England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike in Brooks HellRunner’s Hell in the Chilts.

John, 34 and Bryony, 28 from High Wycombe are certainly not afraid of a challenge. After meeting four years ago they have taken part in countless running pursuits including Brooks HellRunner’s original Hell Down South. This, however, could be their greatest challenge yet as they plan a wedding, move house and train for the UK’s toughest 10 miler all at the same time.

We spoke to Bryony about their alternative honeymoon plans and how they are preparing for the race:

“We both like hilly and off road runs and this event certainly ticks those boxes. It’s different to your average run and we found that appealing. What better way to test our marriage than an event with hell in the name?

“We’ve been living in Australia for two years and only moved back to England this year so we feel like we had our honeymoon before the wedding.

“When we saw this event was taking place the weekend after our wedding we figured it would be a fun honeymoon alternative. We even have some of our wedding guests taking part with us.

“It’s a nice touch to our wedding plans as this is something we both love doing and it will be my first race as Mrs Bryony Houston!

“With the move, training hasn’t been as rigorous as we’d like but we recently ran up Snowdonia and took part in a 100 mile bike ride – we always have something in the pipeline.”

With action and adventure at the heart of this couple, even the proposal was an adrenaline fuelled event as John explains;

“I wanted to surprise Bryony and find a challenge that neither of us had done before so I planned a sky dive on Australia’s West Coast.

“I landed first and when Bryony landed I was waiting with a bottle of champagne and a ring.”

Despite a healthy competition between the pair who regularly take part in running events and triathlons, they are extremely supportive of one another and will run side-by-side in this – their first challenge as a married couple.

“We’re really looking forward to the atmosphere at the event – it’s a fun race and people don’t take themselves too seriously. We’ve never run around West Wycombe Park before so we’re looking forward to that.”

Brooks HellRunner’s Hell in the Chilts is the first in the 12th year of the infamously all natural, three-strong HellRunner series and will take place on Saturday 19th September at West Wycombe Park.