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The North Face launch Mountain Athletics

by editor
Thursday 18th February 2016
The North Face launched Mountain Athletics in great style on Thursday 18th February. 
What is Mountain Athletics? Well, it’s a range of clothes that are specially designed for the training you do for your sport. That might be climbing, trail running, skiing, anything you need to put some hard hours of strength, flexibility and stability training into to do well. It’s hard-wearing fabric, it’s cut so that you’re not going to show off your saggy midriff (until you reach a level of buffness and you might want to) and it looks pretty cool. 
Mountain Athletics is also a training app. It’s free to download and it allows you to set yourself a goal, design a specific strength and conditioning programme for your needs, watch video tutorials from The North Face athletes and monitor and share your progress. We all know we need to do more strength and conditioning work and this is a great way to do it!
Mountain Athletics also provide classes, if you can’t motivate yourself to go it alone. Run247 contributor Pip Haylett goes to the free class at The North Face Regent Street store religiously every Tuesday and he raves about it.

TNF I train

We were going to get a taste of the training sessions at the launch event, but first we got to listen to some great speakers. First up was climber, James Pearson. I loved what he had to say about his progression as a climber. He talked about reaching a point in his development that he just couldn’t get past and how he had to approach things differently, and give the things he was trying time to take effect, in order to push beyond that point. I think we runners get a bit impatient at times, looking for quick fixes and not being consistent enough. 

TNF collage 1

The headline act was Sir Ranulph Fiennes and what an incredible speaker he is! He has tales to tell from his adventures that are equal parts fascinating and terrifying. I’d forgotten that all of the amazing records he has set for unsupported polar missions, the only vertical circumnavigation that’s ever been done, and many, many others were done without the benefit of GPS, satellite phones and a lot of other technology that helps adventurers today. When he trekked to the South Pole he dragged a sled containing a tent that weighed 120 lb. The modern day equivalent would weigh 3 lb. Aside from the photos of ulcerated and frostbitten feet and hands the thing that really sticks in my mind about Sir Ranulph’s speech was just how funny he is. He’s deadpan and dry and if you ever get chance to hear him speak I cannot recommend it highly enough. And the fact that he’s raised over £14m for charity is staggering. 

TNF collage 2

Inspired and motivated by Sir Ranulph’s talk, we moved on to the workout part of the day. We put ourselves in the hands of Mountain Athletics instructors, some of whom were from the ominously named ‘Commando Active’. After a vigorous warm-up we were set off to different stations: climbing, trail running, body weight exercises and skiing. What followed was a mix of fun, diverse and very testing exercises, specific to the training needed for each discipline. There were sprints pushing a big weight, TRX and kettle bell exercises, and strength, stability and flexibility exercises you could never dream up on your own. All under the supervision of qualified and highly motivating instructors.
Mountain Athletics is a fantastic resource for runners, whether you’re looking for hard-wearing training kit, a class to help your strength or an app to get you started and keep you motivated. 

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