What to expect from an LTR event
If you’re thinking of coming along for the first time, that’s brilliant. You’ll be very welcome, so get yourself booked onto an appropriate event, and we’ll look forward to meeting you.
Most people rave about LTR guided trail runs when they’ve given one a try, but we will admit the events don’t suit everyone. That’s often because they’re expecting something different, so we’ve come up with this quick guide to what LTR is all about and why we believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
Okay, let’s cover the big important stuff first …
The BIG important stuff
LTR events aren’t races
No one will care if you’re the fastest or the slowest because we run as a group. We follow the pace set by the lead guide (either Intro, Taster or Regular level) and start and finish more-or-less together. There are no prizes, t-shirts or medals. Instead of the stress of a race, you get plenty of laughs, a well-planned route, superb scenery and a great workout for the body and the soul.
LTR events are small and friendly
Most events have a maximum of 20 runners, looked after by three or four very experienced guides. Provided you’ve booked onto the right event, it’s fun and sociable running so even if you don’t know anyone when you arrive, you could well know everyone by the time you leave. LTR isn’t about beating people, it’s about meeting them. (And no, it’s not a dating site.)
LTR is about getting off the roads
The big clue is in the word ‘trail’ but the way we see it, that includes all sorts of surfaces other than conventional hard-packed trails. Think fields and farm tracks, cobbles, towpaths, ginnels, woodland, moorland, bridle paths and drovers’ roads, green lanes and stepping stones, fords, bridges and stiles. Be prepared for boggy bits and hills.
And now for the $64 million question …
How fit do you need to be?
That’s a tricky one.
Every LTR run is different. We plan runs aimed at various abilities (Intro, Taster and Regular level), so some are definitely tougher than others. If you’re used to running on the roads but haven’t ventured off them much, you might find our events quite challenging. The pace isn’t super-fast, but because we run as a group, it helps everyone to have a good time if you can keep up and that applies across all our events.
If you’ve only just started your running career and are still mixing up walking and jogging, it’s probably not for you – just yet. But keep at it and when you’re ready, book an Intro.
LTR Intro (Novice)
Our Intros are great for those looking to start trail running or improve their confidence off-road. Everyone will be guided along a well-planned route with some fantastic scenery. The atmosphere will be relaxed and easy going, with a mix of walking hills, jogging and running over a distance up to around 7km.
It’s important that you are already quite comfortable running around 5km. You’ll need to be in good health and keen to embrace venturing off-road. Because we love the social side of running, we run as a group and you must be happy to accommodate slower runners and to go no faster than Sarah, the lead guide.
LTR Taster (Intermediate)
By no means a doddle, our Tasters are aimed at keen and active runners with some experience of running off-road. You must have previously covered 10km and feel relatively confident of negotiating a variety of trails including those with tricky terrain. Tasters are often quite undulating, but we won’t always run the hills.
Our Tasters strive to be an insight into our more challenging Regular LTR events. There’s always a well-planned route, a social group atmosphere and you’ll enjoy some wonderful scenery. Our aim is to keep the group running together, but occasionally, we’ll utilise a shortcut to help manage the group.
LTR Regular (Experienced)
Regular routes are often technical, hilly and somewhat challenging, but they're always rewarding with tons of fantastic scenery. Feedback tells us they're great for the mind, body and soul! So, to book onto an LTR Regular it's important you are an experienced and confident trail runner, comfortable running within a group and at a pace set by the lead guide. Other than when we stop for refreshments, you can expect to be running throughout. In order to keep the group together, enjoying each other’s company, we plan a few shortcuts to utilise if needed.
Still not sure which event?
LTR is about sociable running and enjoying the route as a group, so it’s important to find the right type of LTR event for your speed, strength and experience. In the wrong event, you could struggle or impact other runners. In the right one, you’ll still be putting the effort in, but you’ll have a great time.
If you're still not sure which event or would like more info on the fitness requirement for Intros, Tasters or Regulars, please ask Rodger 07946 568844 or Sarah 07854 816244. We’ll always give sound advice.
The nice to know stuff
Cafés and carparks
Just occasionally, the meeting point is a pay-and-display car park so a bit of change will be handy, but most events start near to a cracking café. The café owners will have been warned to expect a tribe of starving, sweaty 'runners' so – if you can – stay after the run for a chinwag, a brew and breakfast or a wedge of cake.
There might be mud. On the bright side, someone will haul you out if you get stuck. If you’re heading to the café after the run, bring a towel and a change of footwear.
The distances are a guide. If 10k is mentioned, it might be nearer to eleven or shorter if you’ve been on a few short cuts, but you’ll be having too much fun to notice. By all means, track how far you’ve run on your watch, but don’t worry about times, splits or segments. You’ll find it much more relaxing.
On runs 10km - 16km, our guides carry drinks for everyone and there’s normally a quick refreshment stop part way through the run. If you want to drink on route, you’ll need to carry it, but as you’ll be climbing stiles make sure you use a belt or similar to keep your hands free.
Your normal running gear is usually fine but a suitable waterproof jacket is often required. Save any designer Lycra for the gym, because we’ll probably find some brambles. And thorns. And nettles. To date, no one has been snagged by an alligator.
Trail running shoes
You’ll find it easier with than without, but you don’t need to spend a fortune. Whatever you’re wearing, expect wet feet. If you’ve only got road shoes, call and ask about whether you’ll cope on the planned route.
Ready to give it a try?
Good – the best way to learn about LTR is to give it a go. You’ll find our current guided trails runs on the 'LIVE EVENTS' page. We use Eventbrite, so booking is quick and simple. And yes, you do have to book because we limit the numbers taking part to ensure everyone has a great time and stays safe on the trails.
Just talk to us. Please call either Rodger on 07946 568844 or Sarah on 07854 816244.