This year we, as a family, are doing another staycation in the Cotswolds. We came here last year and I took the opportunity to get in a few runs as I was based in the lovely village of Brockworth in Gloucestershire, and the hotel we stayed in backed against the rural hills of the Cotswolds.
I was very happy to be coming back this year and I thought that I would blog it this time around for anyone else that might be considering a trip to these beautiful English hills.
For those of you that do not know, the Cotswolds are on the south west side of England close to the boarder of Wales and they are made up of group of villages, towns and cities, stunning farmland, greenery and lots of hills.
It's also home to the famous ultra althlete Damian Hall.
I thought I would break these Cotswolds Adventures into parts or series if you will, so there will be a few more of these to come over the next few days.
At this point I should thank my wife for not killing me for spending too much time running when we are on our holiday, I do have a tendancy for spending more time running then I should.....Sorry, I get carried away and sometimes lost!
Anyway today's part 1 is from my first run on Tuesday 3rd August, and it is simply titled:
Robinswood Hill Country Park is bascially a big lump of greenery on the edge of Gloucester, it is home to the Gloucester Dry Ski Slope and the Gloucester Golf Course, as well as being a country park with just over 1000ft of elevation.
The park is also conveniently situated opposite my hotel, I am staying at the Robinswood Hallmark hotel.
Robinswood country park has several of trails to run with various surfaces to test the grip of your running shoes, mostly a mixture of mud, grass, loose gravel and rock.
Getting to the summit itself is pretty tricky, the climb is steep and not runnable but not quite scrambling but a slow hike. The views when you get to the top are amazing though and do not disappoint, it is well worth the effort.
This is a tricky place to run with a lot of ups and downs so you get a really good workout even over a short distance.
You can see from the 10k route I devised that the inclines and declines are tough on the legs, and although I only completed 5 miles of the 10k route (due to lack of time) I knew I had done a good workout.
Now big hills are the weak point of my running, I am definitely getting better but still a long way to go, so those of you out there that are confident hill climbers or fell runners will think Robinswood is a gentle stroll, but for me it is perfect for working on my hill technique.
I was wearing my new Saucony Xodus 11 shoes for this run, which I picked up the day before from 'Up and Running', a really good running store in Cheltenham and highly recommended, the guys in there are very knowledgable. There is a link below to their website.
I'll be doing a review on the Saucony Xodus once I have done a few more miles in the shoes, but my first impressions are very comfortable straight out of the box, and that added bit of cushioning for ultra distances adds some plushness to the fit and feel of the shoe.
There is a link to the Sauncony Xodus 11's below if you are interested in finding out more.
If you would like to see how I got on with my Robinswood run then check out my Strava feed on the home page to this website, you'll see all my runs there and you can click directly to access my Strava page.
Overall I think Robinswood Country Park is a lovely place for a good 10-12k training run, you may even be able to use it for a hill repeat session with the variety of hills on offer.
I had a blast on my first run in the Cotswolds this year and I am looking forward to the next session, more on that one soon.