FELL AND MOUNTAIN COLLECTION
Our fell and mountain collection has all the essentials to help you take on technical terrain and some serious elevation.
Scroll down to see our guidance on how to choose a race vest, hydration and safety options that are right for you.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT RACE VEST
The Harrier 5L Curbar race vest is perfect for carrying the basics. Including 2 x 500ml Harrier Soft Flasks, snacks, lightweight waterproof jacket, spare layer, first aid kit and an emergency survival bag.
The Harrier 10L Kinder or *Stanage race vest will provide you with the extra capacity for more remote or colder runs when you want to carry the above plus additional spare clothing and waterproof trousers.
*The 10L Stanage race vest has the same features as the 10L Kinder but is specifically designed for XL and XXL sizing.
It's important to consider your race vest to match your training, not just the race you are aiming for. During races and events you have multiple checkpoints and support.
Leading up to your event, your training runs will increase in distance and time spent out. No checkpoints available on these days!
Choose your race vest to match your hardest training runs. If you are aiming for a spring marathon distance, you will need to do hard training runs in the winter. This means that a 10L will be much better for you during these runs as you will need to carry warm layers, additional water, lots of snacks, waterproofs, etc. On race day you will probably carry less water and food as you will be able to restock at regular check points.
See your event details for what support they offer. Futureproof yourself and buy the vest that covers you for everything.
"The most sustainable clothes are the ones we already own." Charlotte, Re-Run Clothing.
Rather than buy new gear every year, look after your existing kit. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but it will save you money to upgrade to lighter kit and enter more exciting races.
Sew up small holes before they get bigger, wash and re-waterproof your kit according to its instructions, dry it properly after every wash, and sell your old but well-cared-for kit on eBay to raise funds for more.
At Harrier we have lots of spare parts for repairs. So please contact us if you need to repair your item.
UPPING YOUR ELEVATION
SAY YES TO POLES
Poles are fantastic for:
Hilly and / or long distance trails
Improving walking and running efficiency
Reducing impact on leg joints
Improving upright posture for maximum lung capacity
Using poles spreads the muscular load from mostly legs to the whole body.
Our Helvellyn Carbon Z Poles are ideal for beginners and experienced ultra runners alike. They are light, strong and simple to use.
Cheat sticks? More like win sticks!
Photo credit - Gary House, RunStrong. Testing out the Helvellyn Poles in North Wales.
WHICH HYDRATION TO CHOOSE
For Harrier race vests and most other brands - Regular 500ml or 300ml
For other brand race vests that require tall, slim soft flasks - Slim 500ml
Slim are also excellent for in the back of any race vests,. Their shape is great for resting between the shoulder blades. Great if you want to take extra water but not use a bladder.
If you are not sure which is right for you please contact us.
You will see three straw options with the regular (not slim) soft flasks.
1. Short tops
Keeps bottle out of the way in front vest pocket.
Easy to hold in hand on shorter runs.
Easy to stash in back of vest or bumbag.
Possible con - Can mean more neck reaching over on longer runs.
2. Long straws
Means straw closer to mouth when running.
Easier to drink on the go with no hands.
Has on / off function to prevent leaks.
Possible con - Can be annoying if you do not like the idea of it close to your face when running.
When you choose a long straw you will also get a short top to mix and match.
3. Extra long straws
Extra long straws are not for Harrier race vests.
These are for other brands where the soft flasks sit very low in the vest.
When you choose an XL straw you will also get a short top to mix and match.
If you are not sure which to choose contact us.
Larger water holders to take weight of liquid on your back in your race vest.
Tube comes around the front for you to drink from.
Bladders are great for long distance runs when you know you’ll be out for several hours without any water available on route.
Note - be careful to monitor how much liquid you have left so you don't run out by accident.
Top tip for water bladders
Are you sloshing? Fill up to the level you require, turn it upside down so the air bubble goes to the top where the straw fixes to the bag, then suck the tube until the air bubble reaches the bite valve and water flows through again.
Voila! You have created a vacuum and now there will be no more sloshing.
Having a Mini Runner First Aid Kit to hand is great in case you or anyone else needs some medical assistance. A few plasters, micro-pore tape and bandage can go a long way. This one is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can be dropped in your race vest.
An Emergency Survival Bag is better than a foil blanket. If you were to have a trip or fall somewhere remote you need to keep warm. When you stop running it is amazing how quickly you can get cold even on a warm day. A blanket will not keep you fully protected.
A tube scarf is also a really versatile piece of kit because you can use it as a scarf, a hat, bandanna or headband.
Our Safety Bundle provides all three for £15. Each item is lightweight and fits in the palm of your hand so you won't even notice you are carrying them in your race vest or bumbag.
A Dry Bag is a useful extra to put all of your kit inside your race vest in case it rains. It gives 100% waterproof protection to all of your items. Because no one wants soggy kit on a rainy British day!
There are a few simple things you can do to be prepared if anything goes wrong during your trail run.
1. Run with a friend, group or a club if you are not confident going out by yourself. They will take the pressure off finding nice routes, getting lost and knowing what’s within your comfort zone.
2. Let someone know what route you are running and when you expect to be home.
3. Have a fully charged mobile phone for security.
4. Carry a Harrier Mini Runner First Aid Kit in case of any trips or falls.
5. An emergency survival bag will offer you better protection against the elements compared to a foil blanket. Our bivvy also comes with printed signal information in case of an emergency.
6. Carry your spare warm kit in a dry bag. You can never be sure when the weather will change and the last thing you want is damp, cold kit if you need some warm clothes during your run. We have 2 litre or 5 litre options depending how much you need to carry in your race vest.
RUN PLASTIC FREE
If you’re into trail running you’re hopefully also keen to protect the beautiful environments we run in. Now it’s even easier to do your part in the drive against single-use plastics with the Harrier Hot and Cold Eco-Cups.
These are brilliantly eco-friendly for races and events . You can grab a hot or cold drink quickly at aid stations without wasting any single-use plastic cups. They are super light and squash down to fit in a pocket or race vest - you won’t notice you are carrying one, or even both.
We could save thousands of single-use plastic cups in our lifetime by using reusable cups rather than taking the single use option.
GIRLS ON HILLS
PUSH YOUR RUNNING IN THE HILLS
Running in the mountains should come with a health warning – it’s addictive. It doesn’t take long before newcomers to the sport are chomping at the bit to run further, harder and wilder. If this is you, then here are some top tips from Keri, Girls on Hills, on how to push your running performance in the mountains...
If you’ve just run a trail marathon, there is bound to be an ultramarathon that has already caught your eye. The same can be said about fell runners, sizing-up the next race category before the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has even subsided. If you want to run and race longer distances, then try the following…
Build slowly – Avoid the urge to jump straight in or increase your mileage too quickly. This is a sure-fire way to get injured. Instead accrue mileage gradually (the 10% increment rule is a helpful adage) and build adequate recovery into your training plan.
Micro Navigation – The more you run in the mountains, the more you will encounter less than ideal weather. Sometimes it will be quick to change and downright appalling. Know how to use your map and compass in poor visibility and understand what makes a good ‘escape route’ off the hill.
Little and Often - Experiment with nutrition and hydration, and give your body what it tolerates. Eat little and often as you run to keep yourself topped-up and avoid ‘bonking’. But most importantly, eat enough!
Scree, boulder-fields, even knife-edge ridges - to some people this what it’s all about. It’s not for everyone of course, but if you want to run more technical trails or dabble in some easy scrambling on route, then try the following…
Practice – There is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to running technical trails. Terrain-specific training will help build relevant micro-efficiencies and confidence over time. This is especially true for technical descending - an area where many trail runners are reticent. It is important to note, there is no substitute for experience when it comes to hands-on technical terrain (start easy!)
Strong ankles – The biggest difference between running on smooth trails and the really rough stuff is the need for good ankle proprioception (unconscious awareness of joint position and movement). If you’re not able to run technical trails regularly where you live, make ankle strength and proprioceptive conditioning part of your training. Shoes with a high stack height are likely to work against you here, in comparison to more minimalist shoes with greater feel and precision.
Try climbing! - The more technical the terrain, the more it becomes a whole-body work-out. If you’re going to make ridge running or scrambling part of your running experience, then it’s wise to learn the basics of good scrambling or even rock-climbing technique.
This is in part because you may find yourself running over terrain with serious consequences, where a good grasp of your limits and reaction to exposure is essential. As a bonus, climbing or bouldering is also an excellent way to strengthen your core and upper-body, and improve efficiency over hands-on terrain.
If your aspirations are drawing you towards skyrunning or mountain ultras in the Alps, then there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs! To train for a race with a big ascent/descent profile, then try the following…
Hill training – Most people don’t live close enough to the mountains to climb thousands of metres every week in training. Hill training like other interval sessions can be done in less time and closer to home. It is a great way to rapidly improve strength, power and even speed. These sessions are not a substitute for ‘big days in the hills’ but are an essential building-block for any runner looking to master a lot of vertical movement in the mountains.
Strength and conditioning - Strength is just as importance as endurance in mountain races with lots of vert! Strength training targeted at running-specific muscle groups (including your core) will help you improve your downhill and uphill running performance. S&C is also important for injury prevention.
Think Winter –Don’t underestimate winter mountains, even in the UK. Pushing high in the mountains (in a bid to meet weekly ascent targets) might get you into trouble if you don’t have the necessary equipment and experience. Make sure you have the right kit with you, and know when and how to use an axe and crampons properly. If you’re unsure, don’t go!
Poles – Running with poles can increase your efficiency and stability. Find a pair that are comfortable, easy to use/stow and that are light but sturdy.
Waterproofs – Buy light-weight, running-specific waterproofs. Ill-fitting waterproof trousers can be tiring to run in, faffy and at worst, a trip hazard!
Shoes – Buy the right shoes for the terrain. Consider a more robust shoe with greater support/cushioning for training as compared to racing, but always put comfort first.
Skyrunning is defined as 'mountain running above 2000m over extremely technical trails'.
In the UK this usually involves easy but graded scrambling. Girls on Hills is the official recce provider for skyraces in the Scottish Highlands and offer bespoke guided fell and skyrunning (for men and women), as well as popular ‘Introduction to Skyrunning’ and ‘Skyrunning Improver’ courses (women-specific).
For more information visit girlsonhills.com