All the latest news & views from the HellRunner team

Road to Hell (up North) – Week 4

Week four ramps it up again.  The strength training and hills should be starting to pay off by now.  Again feel free to mix it up or add to this plan depending on your objectives.


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Road to Hell (up North) – Week 3

Only 8 Weeks to go so time to up the training a bit.  We have added distance to the run and added a hill session to get you prepared for the “Hills of Hell”.  The run following your hill session will test running on fatigued legs, which will come in very handy in October.

Don’t be afraid to chop and change the days if you need to and if you feel up to it swap a rest day for an easy run.


Road to Hell (up North) – Week 2

With 9 weeks to go until Hell up North it’s time to step it up a bit.  This is a beginners plan so feel free to add to it and most seasoned runners should be able to jump in at week 2 with no issues.

Road to Hell Week 2

Put the work in now and make going through Hell a little easier on October 15th!


10 Week Road to Hell (up North)!

There are only 10 weeks to go till Hell up North, the UK’s toughest Half Marathon!

The team at HellRunner HQ have devised this Hellish plan to guide you down the “Road to Hell”

So without further ado, here is week 1!


Each week will chop, change and add, to ensure you improve week on week. This current plan for example, is for someone who is a beginner. If you feel this is too easy for you, by all means add mileage or add sets.

Good luck!

Marshals Required

We are seeking marshals for an upcoming event near Stafford.  Please see below for the details:


  • Saturday 14thMay at Shugborough Outdoor Education Centre on the Shugborough Estate near Stafford, ST17 0XA


  • 4-hour points scoring challenge event for teams of 4 including pub-quiz style questions, some outdoor adventure, inflatable challenges and team-build tests. Lots of fun and laughs all with a Road to Rio theme.


  • We need helpers to assist with the event and to be on site from 1000am -1530hrs. No experience necessary, just common sense.


  • We will pay a £50 fee plus provide complimentary breakfast and  Brazilian street food post event.


Interested? email for more details and to express your interest.

How to Reignite your Passion for Running

We all have times when we don’t feel up to it, struggle to get motivated, find it hard to make improvements or feel like we’ve hit a plateau with every run feeling like a chore.

What can you do to reignite your passion and enjoy your running again?

Try a new route

Running the same old routes can get a bit tired.  You know them like the back of your hand, you know how far you have gone and how far you have to go without even looking at your watch. Over time they provide very little inspiration.

Trying a new route can really make a difference, you’ll see new things, experience new terrain and find new challenges.

Adding a new route every few weeks will make it easy in the future to really mix up your running routine.

Add different workouts

If you are stuck in a rut of running the same pace for each run it can be hard to make improvements and running can become a little monotonous.

Adding speedwork such as intervals, fartlek (swedish for speed play) or hill training not only gives your running variety, it is also more challenging and can improve your speed and endurance.

Try something new (HellRunner events are a good start!) 

Need a change from the 5K, 10K and Marathon road runs.  Attempting something a bit different, like a mud run or obstacle course race (Brooks HellRunner maybe) gives something a bit different and a lot more fun.  It also gives a sense of achievement getting around the course without having to worry about minutes per mile and PB’s.

Strength Training for (Hell) Runners

There has always been a big debate regarding the benefits of cross training for running, many believe that if you want to get faster you just need to run more, but a recent study showed that runners that incorporated two strength training sessions into their weekly training improved their 5K times by up to 45 seconds, although this improvement was lost when the strength training routine was stopped.

With this in mind added to the physical demands on a HellRunner, we certainly believe that adding strength training to your routine can really be very beneficial.

How to get started

(Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine)

If you are completely new to Strength Training there are a couple of approaches you can take.

1. Weight Machines

Although weight machines are not the best approach long term, due to the way they don’t always mimic a natural range of motion, they can be a good way to start for a beginner. Machines can get you used to the movements and eliminate the risks of injury that may come with using free weights too early.

So if you are a member of a gym or intend to sign up, just ask a member of staff to give you a quick overview of what each machine does and how to use it.

Once you are used to the movements, then you can move up to free weights, although make sure you are safe, maybe asking someone to spot you when using heavier weights.

2. Body weight exercises

Body weight exercises are not only a great introduction to strength training but they are also easy to perform at home meaning you don’t need an expensive gym membership.

You should start with basic body weight exercises like squats, lunges and push-ups. Make sure your form is good, there are thousands of videos on YouTube that you can use to ensure your form is correct.

You can progress by adding repetitions, adjusting positions to make the exercises more challenging and by adding some weight to the exercises. (A good set of dumbells can be purchased for around £30)

How to incorporate strength training into your current training regime

Most runners, run a lot and that makes sense, but that also means that fitting in strength training into your existing routine may not be that easy. Replacing a run with strength training may be a difficult decision for many runners.

Timing can also be challenging, when should you schedule your strength training? Looking online you could find hundreds of discussions about whether you should do cardio then strength or vice versa. Some believe that your glycogen stores are low following cardiovascular activity so strength training is not ideal following a run, although doing it post run, if you have trained legs you might be a bit wobbly on your feet.

It is also worth considering that your muscles may feel very sore in the days following strength training sessions, even more so if you have not done any form of strength training before. This is due to delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS for short. Although this will reduce as you incorporate more strength training into your routine.

It may be a good idea to start a strength training program when you are having a week off from running as the soreness will be at its peak at this point.

Like most things though, try it and see how it benefits you, comment below with your own experiences of strength training, has it made you faster? Made hills easier? Reduced the amount of injuries you have?

Social media opportunity!

TrailPlus, organisers of the iconic HellRunner series, are seeking someone to ensure our social media activity engages and converses with our audience, in a devilishly smart and responsive way.

It won’t be a full-time job, but we will be seeking someone’s full-time commitment.

If you have the most up-to-date knowledge of social media trends and digital marketing, love running and the great outdoors and ‘get’ HellRunner, we would like to hear from you.

You’ll almost certainly be working within the world of social media and can demonstrate some level of skill, talent and success. And of course, you can talk the language of runners, gym-monkies and the mud-loving challenge community.

It seems too harsh of us to expect that you can convince us in a tweet comprising merely 140 characters. But we’ll give you up to 140 words to persuade us to talk with your further about what exactly we are seeking and where you might fit in.

Like the entry to the Bog of Doom. Don’t dilly-dally. Just get stuck in! Email us at and make an impression.

Win a pair of Brooks Pure Grit 4 running shoes!

Brooks Hell Down South is deemed the toughest running event in the UK. As the original in the HellRunner series, this is an absolute must-do on the bucket list, and it’s with year-on-year requests to make the course even tougher, we’ve done just that for 2016. It’s a strong way to start the year and challenge yourself from the offset.

Enter Brooks Hell Down South by Thursday 17 December and you could win a pair of Brooks Pure Grit 4 running shoes – an ideal HellRunner shoe.

The Pure Grit 4 blend the secure grip of climbing shoes with the comfort of lightweight running shoes, so while feedback from the terrain is increased, so is protection from any tricky elements. Aggressive hex lugs on the outsole provide maximum grip, and the ballistic rock shield protects your foot from trail hazards. A toe guard provides protection and added traction for steeper trails like the Hills of Hell. Meanwhile, the lightweight upper dries out quickly, so you’re not being weighed down by your shoes after the Bog of Doom!

Simply enter here and you’ll automatically be entered into the draw.

To be in with the chance of winning, you must enter before midnight on 17 December.

When I was in hot water…

Last week we asked the HellRunner community about times that they’ve been in ‘hot water’ while on a run. The three lucky winners would not only win a Hot Jerry, but have their stories shared on the HellRunner website. So without further ado, here are the winners and their stories!

TJ Tyrie – “I went for a run in the morning to see the sunrise and nearly drowned!”

So it was 5.51am on a Sunday in Thailand, after rummaging around for a throat sweet and a vitamin tablet to add to my water, I got dressed and headed to the beach to have a run and catch the sunrise.
To my dismay, I discovered that the sun actually rose on the other side of the island. I didn’t see much of a show that day and decided that I will take a run over to the north side to catch it on Monday. The sounds from the wildlife alone were worth waking for though.

While shifting between a sprint and a jog on the sand I was enjoying the view out to sea and I decided to jog out to an ‘island’ only visible in low tides which was in front of the beach. While standing on the low tide peninsula, I looked to my right at the amazing scenery of green leafed trees which were so picturesque I wanted to get closer. Between them and I was a channel of flowing water which was heading for the beach front and slowly filling it up, thus making this ‘island’ I stood on.

Wearing basic trainers as I was on holiday, I decided that instead of running the long way around I would cross what looked like no more than knee high water, no problem. I began the walk and it feel great! Warm water, the nature, the isolation… the only other souls in sight were a young boy sweeping the table tops with a straw broom back the at the resort, some 200 metres away at least.

Even if I wanted to scream and my girlfriend was awake, no one could hear me scream from the mini island. As I got about just under half way across, I noticed the bottom off my knee high shorts get wet, and it rose about 5 inches more. This didn’t concern me as my shorts will dry in no time out here. What did begin to concern me was that my feet began to stick to the sea floor. I guess you could call it a clay like substance, I called it quicksand. It was increasingly harder to lift one foot in front of the other. With every step I sank deeper, up to my ankles and counting, my mind was frantic with worry, it was safe to say panic had set in.

I tried to walk faster but that made it worse, my trainers were the sort which had no laces, budget ones. The suction from the bottom of my shoes and the sea bed put my sat nav window sucker device to shame. I was hoping that perhaps the boy was watching and could help, or maybe I’ll make it? I tried until I could no longer move, I was pulling my feet up with all my might to lift one foot but that just made the other foot sink deeper as I shifted my body weight. Abort, abort, code red…

I decided that the shoes had officially had it and I left them to Davy Jones, another item for his locker. My feet were definitely better at moving when I left the shoes behind but I was not out of the woods yet, I managed to quick heel it across and was relived to find myself on the other side of the bank with the trees and craggy sharp rocks. Now the only problem is getting back to shore. There was an option of rocks, more sucking mud, or hard clay with sharp tree roots sticking up out the ground. Wait, what’s hanging off my foot? Oh that’s alright, it’s only the plaster which was covering the coral slice on the bottom of my foot which happened two days ago, that’s staring to sting now!

I thought Thai holidays were long days of lying in a hammock drinking cocktails while butlers brought you freshly cooked food. I seemed to be turning it into a death-defying real-life adventure. I was wandering the cruel terrain, shoeless and bleeding. Either Mother Nature hates me, or, all my mud runs and electric shock obstacle courses have turned me into an adrenaline junkie who turns even a relaxed romantic Thai holiday into a no-hold’s-barred fight to the death.

Chris Murray – “I had a nice run/limp home with blood running down my leg and into my sock.”

I’ve always kept and eye out for dogs while on a run, however, a few months ago I was out on my local trails when I spied a Collie a few yards off.

I slowed down and began to walk while it sniffed about. When I thought I was far enough away not to be chased, I started running again only to be ambushed by his pal in the trees who, by the time it took me realise what was going on, had a firm grip on the back of my leg.

A lot of cursing and exaggerated threats towards the dog’s owners ensued, who had now caught up and put it on a lead. This however, was all well and good but, I was still six miles away from home! Needless to say I had a nice run/limp home with blood running down my leg and into my sock.

Jay Bizzle – “My pack was soaked and my phone broken.”

I went out for a long fell run last winter in the the freezing cold to clear my head as I’d had a heavy one the night before.

At about 10k in I decided to get a drink from my pack, but rather tragically, I hadn’t put the lid back on properly after filling it up.

Not only was the bottle empty, but my pack was soaked and my phone broken! I felt absolutely horrendous by the time I found someplace to get a drink – ironically a pub! I was so annoyed I rang the other half to come get me so I could cut the run short and sulk for the rest of the day.