fell runners

Hi-ya,

How come fell runners aren't the dogs on the flat - must be like a day off for them ?

Comments

  • I'm a crap fell runner AND an average road runner!

    It's almost a completely different sport IMHO. Steep uphill walking and real skill and absolute madness to free fall off a mountain. Clearly some of the great fell runners could be very good road runners though, but generally the individuals are just not that way inclined.why run around a track or road when you can be in the hills?
  • I suppose it must be a fairly different discipline. I struggle at times with minor hills on my routes so I just thought that the gradients and terrain that fell runners contend with must make running on the flat an absolute doddle, comparitively.

  • Fell running is basically about luck not stamina or running prowess. If you fall over at an opportune moment, you can end up rolling / tumbling down the hill and over the line and winning the thing. Daft `sport`.
  • Thus speaks someone that clearly knows what they're talking about. People winning by rolling downhill over the finish line is a common problem in fell races. image
  • Not about stamina? Blimey, I'm surprised more people don't do it then! image
  • No, nothing to do with stamina. All about how well you can roll. Apparently.
  • Yes, luck not stamina. Anyone tried on any fell running shoes? The more expensive models have some of those little roller skates in the heel.

  • Ah, rolling down rocky hills. Somewhat akin to a post-Sunday lunch stroll - must take my Grandad fell running... image

  • Just reading a book on fell running called "feet in the clouds" by Richard Askwith,

    Fantastic book, humourous in parts and breath taking in others, Not much mention of "luck" being what it take either. I`m sure anyone who has run the   Bob Graham round would welcome anyone to join them who thinks it`s all about luck.

     Anyway the book is a great read for runners or fell runners.

  • lee - it is indeed a great book. One of my favourites. And he's to be commended for not wearing Heelys.
  • Just started reading it a couple of days ago - love the opening line "This is how death must feel"

    Do you think we should write to Richard Askwith and advice him about his lack of rolling/tumbling?

  • He seems to go more for twisting, spraining and despairing.
  • Hadnt spotted this thread when I posted here:Helvellyn Runner

    I think fell runners are ultra athletes with a screw loose. You have got to be genetically without fear or perception of danger to do what I witnessed this week.

    They would probably enter more road races, if the races were held on the M6 at rush hour - for the element of danger they need....

  • Andi Jones (Salford) just won the Snowdon mountain race for the 4th year in a row

    he has also run the fastest marathon by a brit this year.

  • Compared to fells, hills etc road running must be rather boring.

    I'm carp at uphill and run out of puff way before my legs tire, but downhill is so easy for me. Just having the confidence to let your legs go, and keep body at the right angle. Even when out on a walk if there's a downhill drop I have the urge to run down it!

  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭

    Id very much agree about the massive difference between road and fell. Im what id call an experienced (if not particularly speedy) road runner who 5 weeks ago entered the Cheviots 2000 fell race in Northumberland with some people from work. In our road training runs I was very much up there with the pace but my god did i get a shock on the fells. It was a very tough 23m fell race and without a lie I was hanging out of my arse after the first mile asking myself what the hell I got myself into! There were a few sections where I did well but i was totally out of my depth to the point that I went over on my ankle numerous times and in the end fractured it with only 2m downhill to go. I am only now getting back into exercise but running is still a few weeks off for me.

    Proper fell running is a skill you have to learn!!! And make sure you have good footwear! I didnt!!

  • DazTheSlugDazTheSlug ✭✭✭

    Mr F - a cautionary tale there!

    as you say, if you're going to start fell running you need proper low profile/grippy shoes, and you're probably best starting with something shorter than 23M! image

  • I crossed over to fell running a year ago and did my first road race on sunday.JEEZ! my feet are an absolute mess, blisters all over.Its funny though,the roadies who used to kick my ass i can quite easily beat when they come onto the fells.There is definately 2 styles of running needed,one for the roads and one for the fells.
  • As has been said earlier a lot of it is just about what you enjoy, I do both as I like to improve my pb's but personally never get more enjoyment out of running then when out in the hills. It's just so much more interesting in my opinion.

    Yes a degree of nuttiness is required for downhill but there is a technique / skill that goes with it as well, some have it, some don't. When new to fell running the climbs are normally a complete shock to the system and it's a case of training / pacing in the races that's required to stop you developing lactic acid on the climbs otherwise by the time you get to the top your legs feel like lead and everyone goes flying past you! Speaking through experience there! image

    As for the original question about why fell runners aren't the nuts on the road, well some of the best are but most just like to concentrate on the hills and they are different disciplines. Running on the road is fsater so those who run more on roads are naturally going to be faster than those who spend more time on the hills. That said most serious fell runners (and by serious I don't mean competitive, I just mean those who want to improve) will include speedwork in their training as well to improve their leg speed.

    "Feet in the Clouds" - great read, I've done a couple legs of the BG and you've got to admire anyone who can complete the challenge, it would require a massive amount of commitment to do the required training.

  • Kenny Stuart (one of the best fell racers ever) did a 2.11  marathon, but fell racing  is a very different discipline. With marathons its all about  leg speed and maintaining a swift pace over a distance, but with fell running you need a much wider range of abilities, so training is much less focussed on flat speed, and rather on strength and technical ability mixed with leg speed.  

     Joss Naylor's new autobiography mentions that one of his few regrets in life was not focussing on a road marathon to see how he would have compared...

     Andi Jones as mentioned above is a great example of a fell runner who's also great on the road, but I suspect his fell racing might suffer a smidgen from the road miles.....(he does alright mind!).

      

  • bus boy wrote (see)

    Kenny Stuart (one of the best fell racers ever) did a 2.11  marathon, but fell racing  is a very different discipline. With marathons its all about  leg speed and maintaining a swift pace over a distance, but with fell running you need a much wider range of abilities, so training is much less focussed on flat speed, and rather on strength and technical ability mixed with leg speed.  

     Joss Naylor's new autobiography mentions that one of his few regrets in life was not focussing on a road marathon to see how he would have compared...

     Andi Jones as mentioned above is a great example of a fell runner who's also great on the road, but I suspect his fell racing might suffer a smidgen from the road miles.....(he does alright mind!).


    Kenny S did a lot of road work as well, he insisted it was necessary to maintain his speed.

    Yeah Andi Jones is a good example, first Brit at FLM and 4th win at Snowdon this year, you almost feel though that he needs to concentrate on one or the other road or fell to take the next step up. Don't quote me on it as I'm not too familiar with his results but I think he tends to do better in Fell races where it's slightly better running under foot and he can really get into a rhythm and use his speed, rather than the very technical races.

  • Fell runners obviously have great stamina to do something like the Bob Graham Round. They may not make great road or track runners because on the fells there are constant changes of gradient, surface and stride length. Therefore running a long distance at a consistent pace may not play to their strengths.
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