Entries by Dan

How Running Slow Can Make You Faster

It’s True… Running slow can actually make you speed up!

When on a training run it seems natural to run with someone who is faster than you, this is because it creates competition and encourages you to run faster. But what happens when you run with someone who is slower than yourself ? Most people don’t think about doing this, but running slower can have a long term advantage in gaining speed.

How do you know you are running at the right pace?

Running slow means that you are running at a pace that does not strain or overly fatigue your body. When running at this comfortable pace you should be able to speak to your running partner and not just with one word answers but full sentences. If you’re more of a numbers person, “you should be running at less than 65 percent of your heart rate reserve [HRR],” or the difference between your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate, says Armen Ghazarians.

Why you should include slow running into your training…

Running at an easy paces comes with a variety of benefits. The first benefit being your body becomes more adapted to aerobic fitness. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy- generating process (Running for a long period of time). In turn this will increase your cardiovascular endurance. This is the ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to your body tissues. The more efficient your body is at doing this, the more efficient your running will be and you will be able to maintain a higher pace for a longer period of time.

Running at an easier pace also allows you to train for longer periods of time and prepares you better for the next session. Guaranteed some sessions must be fast. However, to build an engine to must run further. Most elite runners are on 100+ miles a week and in order to do this most runs need to be long and slow, in fact it can only be two sessions a week that the emphasis is on speed.

Running too fast too often can actually backfire. You won’t develop the fast twitch (type II) muscle fibers necessary to withstand a long race. Fast twitch muscle fibers are extremely important for your last ‘kick’ in a race. Without an adequate supply of fast twitch muscle fibers, you simply won’t have the strength to run at your maximal pace at the end.

Running slower can also minimise the risk of injuries, resulting in less set backs in your training regime. Most athletes get an injury from speed sessions such as your track sessions. This is because you are forcing your muscles to work extra hard and also the impact and shock your muscles go through will increase dramatically when running fast .

Finally, an easy pace will give you the opportunity to concentrate on your technique and in turn becoming more efficient in your running style. When you have worked on your technique within the easy running sessions this can then transfer to your faster runs and also to races. This will then also minimise risk of injury when running fast.

Overall you need a mixture of fast and slow sessions. However running slower actually has more benefits than people think. In order to stay motivated you have to run with a purpose, and the purpose of most sessions should be taking your time.

Tough Runner UK Partners with Tredz Bikes

Tredz Bikes, the UK market leader in performance cycling, has today announced a new partnership with Welsh trail race and duathlon organiser Tough Runner UK.

The mutually beneficial partnership sees Tredz Bikes customers receiving exclusive discounts to Tough Runner UK races. In turn, those who endure the testing events will now receive an improved experience, having access to the know-how of experienced bike technicians and bike parking, as well as receiving exclusive offers from Tredz Bikes.

Tough Runner UK organises unique and entertaining events in Wales and England including 5k and 10k runs, half marathons and duathlons. The Tough Runner UK races offer something different to both the experienced and amateur runner alike, delivering on the ‘tough runner’ element.

“We are extremely pleased to secure this opportunity with Mike and the team at Tredz Bikes. At Tough Runner UK we strive to bring the very best event-day experience to the masses and with the partnership we have created we feel everyone can benefit now and in the future,” Adam Newton, Director at Tough Runner UK.

Tredz Bikes will be attending Tough Runner UK events throughout 2019, predominantly duathlons, across both England and Wales. Using its expertise and industry knowledge, Tredz Bikes will be able to offer a better on-the-day experience for all participants.

Over the past several years, the UK has seen a rise in popularity of mass participation endurance events, both on and off the bike, a trend which Tough Runner UK has explored – increasing its event offering since launching in 2015 to now offering more than 18 events around England and Wales.

Duathlons in Wales & England


For some reason, the UK has a shortage of duathlons so we have a mission to fill this gap and provide what many people are calling out for.

We entered 2018 with the Wildflower Duathlon at the National Botanic Garden of Wales planned as our only duathlon, it quickly became apparent that due to it’s success people wanted MORE! So we listened!

Due to our innovative vision, we wanted to do something different, something that we have participated In races in different countries. An Off-Road Duathlon within a beautiful forest, but not just any forest, only the biggest and best forest in the UK for mountain bikes; The Afan Forest. To our surprise, this event SOLD OUT rapidly with people travelling from all four corners of the UK! To say the event was a success is an understatement. You can see the full promo video HERE. Escape to Afan will definitely be back for 2019, but this time we have a little surprise for the more experienced bikers. On the Saturday we will be hosting Escape to Afan, but on the Sunday we will be hosting Escape To Afan EXTREME. This will have a much more technical bike route involved for the adrenaline buffs.

After the 2018 Wildflower Duathlon was finished, people wanted more, so we did our homework and decided that an road duathlon was needed in or near the Welsh Capital city, Cardiff. We found a perfect, picturesque  location in Penarth. After months of planning, we are now ready for the next big duathlon named; The Wales Duathlon. This duathlon consists of 5k run, followed by 20k cycle, followed by a 5k run.

Cycling element in one of our duathlons in Wales

But we are not done yet! Now we have conquered Wales with 3 major duathlons, we have now opened our first duathlon in England.

We are proud to say we will be hosting a duathlon from the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, England. This race will boast spectacular scenery and will certainly lead the way for our duathlons in England.

On travelling from city to city in England and doing our duathlon research, it was obvious that there is desperate need for off-road duathlons in England. So once again, we will be delivering what the people want! Tough Runner UK will be coming to West Midlands hosting an off-road duathlon that will attract people from across the UK and beyond, more details to be announced soon.

This is just the start from us, 5 new duathlons in the UK with more to follow! Keep an eye out for our social media pages to stay up to date.

5 Reasons to Run 10 Miles


I want to explain why we decided to put on a 10 mile race. The common distances being 5k, 10k, half marathon and a marathon, some may think its an unusual decision for us to put on a 10 mile race, but there are many reasons for us wanting to give you a 10 miler, 5 of which I have listed below.

1. It fine tunes your form: Running a 10 miler takes more than an hour to complete, putting you into fatigue when flaws in running form become obvious. You must try to correct those flaws (like slouching) and hold form to the end. Testing your body at a different distance on a tough terrain can help you get to know your body more and allows you to fine tune your running strategy, especially if your planning to take on a half marathon.

2. It’s not a half marathon or a marathon: Running 10 miles is something you can prepare for in a much shorter time. If you are looking to take up a good challenge within the next few months, it’s something that can be comfortably prepped for in time.

3. It’s the right step up from a 10k distance: If you’re pretty new to running (especially trail), taking the leap from a 10k to a half marathon is a BIG step. So having the opportunity to race at a distance in between is a great way of building up your race abilities prior to taking on a half marathon.

4. It will help take your body into a much healthier state: Ten-milers will not only do wonders for your leg muscle strength, but for your heart. Increasing your endurance and challenging yourself to a distance your body isn’t used to will keep your body adapting for the better making your body and health much stronger.

5. It makes you an aerobic tourist: Your 10-miler can take you far, and if you haven’t been to the Afan Forest before, it is one of the most picturesque, scenic locations in Wales. Every runner knows the importance of variety in keeping a training program fresh. Not challenging yourself can make you lose motivation. New locations and new challenges keeps running fun, and keeps you looking sexy!

If you would like to join us this November and take one the Winter 10 Miles Wales. Get yourself signed up now before places are gone.

Take up the 10 mile challenge now –https://toughrunneruk.com/events/winter-10-miles-wales/

Introduction To Trail Running

All runners know that trail running is a different beast to road running. It’s not something you do to challenge a personal best, unless your running the exact same route.

It has a completely different element of complexity to road running, there’s the uneven ground, often secluded, scenic areas with different weather demands, and the biggest factor of all; HILLS.

As much as it sometimes sounds the more uncomfortable run, these days people’s opinions are changing completely and runners are choosing trail before road. The buzz a trail race brings is contagious leaving runners with ‘trail addiction’.

Why? Firstly because it has more of a ‘challenge’ element. We like to put our body under challenging environments because the feeling of achievement means so much more.

Then there’s the pure beauty of trail running locations. Anybody who has run a Tough Runner UK event know they are not going to turn up to a boring race location. Your not just going to be staring at a flat road for the duration of your race, you will be running through the most scenic and ‘picturesque’ (as described by Wales online) locations in the country.

Every turn has a different view, every hill is met with panoramic views stretching for miles into natural landscape beauty and every mile has it’s own unique challenge.

Trail running has so much to offer, not only for physical ability but also for state of mind. As hard as it may be running up hills, them hills eventually come to an end and you can enjoy a down hill run whilst taking in breathtaking views from the top of a mountain. There really is no better feeling in the world.

Then to top it off, you get to cross the finish line, receive your big shiny medal and rejoice in the happiness of self achievement.


We offer different distances to give people the ability to let themselves grow as a strong trail runner.

If you are new to trail running, or you haven’t been to a trail race before, we have many 5k and 10k races for you to choose from to get a taste of what we’re all about.

If you feel you’re passed the level of fitness of a 10k, but not quite ready for a half marathon, you really should sign up to our Winter Trail 10 Miles Wales . This is a 10 mile challenge in one of our favourite locations, Afan Forest. With breathtaking views and a super enjoyable course, this will be the perfect step up.

Ready for a half marathon? Check out the NEW Brechfa Half Marathon and the immensely popular Hoka Half Marathon. Both of these races are simply spectacular with an awesome element of ‘tough’ but enjoyable.

We are also planning a NEW marathon (details to be announced in the near future).

If you fancied something ‘different’, dig that bike out and check out the Escape To Afan Duathlon which is an all off-road event and the Wildflower Duathlon which is trail running within the beautiful Nation Botanic Garden Of Wales, which then transitions onto the quiet roads around Carmarthenshire. Both of these are open to beginners and seasoned athletes.

So, no matter what level of running your at, we have a race for you and welcome you to try out real racing for a different, unique experience.

A bit about Tough Runner UK and our ambitions to become unique


If you participate in trail running in UK, you’ve probably heard of Tough Runner UK? At Tough Runner UK we work hard to ensure that athletes feel value through the events we offer. We have a many years experience in taking part in amazing trial run events across the globe, which include:

  • 10K races
  • Duathlons
  • Off-Road Duathlons
  • Trial half marathons
  • Trial marathons
  • Iron Man events
  • And much much more…

Every time we went to an event, we analysed and learnt something new. It was blatantly obvious that other places in the world offered a style of racing that you just can’t get in the UK. So we wanted to do something about it. Along with the things we learnt, we are very motivated, innovative individuals that have been willing to sacrifice a large part of our lives to perfect what we are trying to achieve. We learn daily and with them lessons we grow stronger and bigger.

With that being said, we have been exposed to various environments and have the knowledge of how to make each race different from the next. As an athlete, if you are looking for a new way of challenging yourself then Tough Runner UK has exactly what you need. Our races ensure that the athletes meet and beat their goals.

There’s just 3 steps to take to become a ‘Tough Runner’, which includes:

  1. Accepting the challenge that the race poses
  2. Preparing thoroughly for the challenge
  3. Beating the challenge and achieving your goals


All upcoming events can be seen on our events page HERE.

You should take up a new challenge to beat the monotony of daily training.

Some of the reasons you should take up a Tough Runner UK race:

  1. Constantly testing yourself will make you feel one hundred percent valued. It will push you to achieve your goals and help you set and beat new standards.
  2. You need to experience the euphoria that comes with completing a race. The joy of completing a race will give you the motivation to keep setting new goals.
  3. The race will help you improve your health. This race is not exclusively set for expert runners, we accept all participants from the elite to beginners.
  4. It will help you improve your speed and boost your strength. The terrain and length vary with each race event. This means that you will train your body to withstand the new conditions and the training prior to the competition will definitely help you boost your running speed since you will strive to win the race.

If you are around South Wales and are seeking to start trail runningin one of the finest routes in the area, feel free to visit Tough Runner UK, South Wales. For more information on our offers, services, and events visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/toughrunneruk/.

Why Trail Running Is Good for You

There’s a reason trail running is booming in popularity over the last few years…

Heading out on a trail instead of pavement is appealing for so many reasons. Escaping into the woods or meadows gives you a nature experience that a road run often cannot, and a trail’s softer surface gives your body a break, too.

The benefits of trail running span the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of your life. And doesn’t that cover pretty much all of it? Here are a few ways trail running is good for you and some tips on how to get started.


“Trails are going to take away a lot of stress from the impact that you’d normally get running on harder surfaces,” says Dr. Scott Levin, a sports medicine expert and orthopedic surgeon. “Some of the forces that would normally be transmitted from the pavement up to the ankles, knees, shins, and hips are dissipated when the foot hits the ground on the trails because there’s some give there.”

“With knee pain, especially, shin splints, and any other condition that is worsened with increased impact,” says Dr. Levin, “the lesser impact of running trails is going to feel better than pavement. Trail running may be more beneficial for preventing most forms of tendinitis; however, there is some evidence to suggest that running on a harder surface would be less aggravating for Achilles tendinitis.”

The set of runners starting the Hoka Half Marathon race in Afan Forest


Trails provide an undeniable escape from what can be an otherwise hectic day. Eliminate the outside environment of cars and other city noises and import sounds of birds and trees rustling in the wind, and you’ve got an entirely difference experience.


Having the courage to take up a trail running challenge will only motivate you to be consistent and give you something to focus on. Your body will feel great and your health will benefit massively.

Tough Runner UK have several trail events throughout the year. A series of stunning EPIC 10k’s in Cardiff, Merthyr and Barry. Also planned is a  10 mile winter trail race in the Afan Forest and a breath-taking Duathlon within the National Botanic Garden Of Wales.