Run with Heart and Mind UK Peak District | 05.09.24

Run with Heart and Mind UK

View from The Roaches, Staffordshire

A Peak District trail running adventure

Re-energise and unwind on our three-day retreat in the wilds of the Staffordshire Moorlands within the Peak District National Park. Daily guided trail runs will be balanced with a mindfulness-based programme including gentle tai chi and meditation, and with plenty of free time to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in peaceful natural surroundings in good company, while finding the right balance of activity and relaxation, then this three-day retreat will be perfect for you.

Our daily runs will be at an easy pace in challenging terrain, and will include time for breaks and enjoying the scenery. The runs will vary in length from around 10 to 14 kilometres. The longest run is expected to take at least 2.5 hours with breaks and rest. Participants will need to have a good level of fitness for running these distances.

The retreat programme

Our retreat schedule will include:

  • Trail running incorporating Mindfulness for Runners – learning how to establish a foundation and focus to run mindfully.
  • Tai chi and qigong – easy-to-learn mindful movement.
  • Meditation – guided silent practices to help calm and focus the mind.
  • Free time to explore your surroundings or simply relax and reset.

Through this combination of practices we will investigate together the value of developing skills in cultivating awareness, embodiment and relaxation. We will explore how to apply these principles both to help us run with more focus and enjoyment, but also how they can support our wellbeing in everyday life.

Stuart McLeod - mindful trail running along The Roaches in the Peak District National Park
Trail at the bottom of the Roaches looking towards Tittesworth Reservoir.

The trail running explained

Our running adventure will explore moorland trails and a number of the natural landmarks of the area. We will pass over Ramshaw Rocks, Hen Cloud and The Roaches, the famous gritstone ridge which overlooks Tittesworth Reservoir. We will also explore such places as Black Brook Nature Reserve and Lud’s Church, a deep moss-covered cavern full of history and myth.

As you will see from some of the images, the trails pass through moorland which can be wet in places as well as following rough, rocky tracks. The running terrain for this retreat will be challenging, with a good amount of climbing and descending, so you should be confident running this type of terrain.

It will be essential to bring trail shoes.

Example daily schedule

07:30 Wake up
07:50 Morning practice – meditation
08:20 Breakfast
09:30 Exploring the day’s theme
10:00 Mindful running
13:00 Lunch
13:45 Pause and reflect – free time
16:15 Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing
17:30 Pause and reflect – free time
18:30 Evening meal
19:15 Pause and reflect – free time
20:00 Meditation practice and closing thoughts

Image of Shawbottom Farm on a misty morning.

Our base

The retreat will be based at Shawbottom Farm, a 23 acre farm property nestled within a wildlife corridor connecting two nature reserves in the Peak District National Park.

It is secluded, being accessed via a private track which does not lead to any other properties. The buildings have been modernised and converted to provide group accommodation and it is an ideal property for isolated rural retreats.

The nearest towns are Leek which is about a 15 minute drive away, and Buxton which is 20 minutes by car.

Taking time out

There will be plenty of free time in the afternoon to spend as you choose. You can relax around the centre or head out for your own exploration of the surrounding moorlands.

Moorland view

Retreat costs and accommodation

The full retreat fee includes accommodation; three meals a day with drinks and snacks available all day; and all tuition.

The accommodation comprises of four dormitories with either three or four beds and one twin room. The pricing of the accommodation includes an option with a small discount if a single group wishes to book a dormitory for their own use.

You have the option of paying the full fee or a 30% deposit and then the remaining balance which is due 60 days before the start of the retreat.

Before booking, please familiarise yourself with our Retreat booking terms and conditions.

 

Dormitory at Shawbottom Farm

Retreat costs and accommodation

Dormitory single (£250)

The dormitories will be male or female only sharing with either two or three other people.

Twin room (£600)

For two people who would like the comfort of their own room, the twin has two single beds. The price is the total for two people.

Exclusive use of 3-bed dormitory (£700)

For one person or a group of two or three who would like exclusive use of a dormitory. The price is the total for the room.

Exclusive use of 4-bed dormitory – (£920)

If you would like to attend as a group of four (or less), you have the option of sharing your own 4-bed dormitory. We can potentially accommodate groups of 5, 6 or 7 (also at discount) if upper bunks are also used so please contact us if that would be of interest.

Bedspace at Shawbottom Farm

Catering

Food will be full board vegetarian/vegan.

We will cater for special dietary requirements if requested prior to the start of the event. Please let us know beforehand.

Veegetables frying in a wok
Location map for Shawbottom Farm

Getting to Shaw Bottom Farm

Address: Upper Hulme, Leek, ST13 8UQ

Shawbottom is about a mile off the A53 between Leek and Buxton.

Full details for travelling to Shawbottom can be found here: https://shawbottomfarm.co.uk/directions

Stuart McLeod mindful running profile picture

Your teacher - Stuart McLeod

Stuart took up triathlon in 2005, before specializing in duathlon (run/bike/run). He went on to represent Great Britain as an age-group athlete at several international Championships.

He has been practicing meditation in the Chinese Zen Buddhist tradition for over two decades, teaching meditation and leading day retreats with the Western Chan Fellowship.

Stuart has participated in a variety of mindfulness programmes and is a Trained Teacher in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. He is also a teacher of Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing (TMW) and a qualified Qigong Instructor with Long White Cloud Qigong.

A key focus of Stuart’s personal practice centres upon the application of mindfulness techniques and skills as a means to help us re-inhabit our bodies, and he thinks there is no better way to this than through mindful running.

Testimonials

What people say

Ruslan, London

This workshop revolutionized my running. I stopped listening to music whilst running and instead started paying attention to my feet, body and the surroundings. I started forefoot running and adjusted...

This workshop revolutionized my running. I stopped listening to music whilst running and instead started paying attention to my feet, body and the surroundings. I started forefoot running and adjusted my posture, which means I have been injury free since then. No more shin splints and itb pain.

Sara, Chatham

I am very interested in connecting mind with body and this course provided an ideal opportunity to explore that interest. The experience of running with a different mindset and attitude...
I am very interested in connecting mind with body and this course provided an ideal opportunity to explore that interest. The experience of running with a different mindset and attitude was revealing.

Rachel Chatham

Brilliant! This brings a whole new dynamic to my running which will overflow into daily life.
Brilliant! This brings a whole new dynamic to my running which will overflow into daily life.

Janet, London

Great experience and well designed content, delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way.
Great experience and well designed content, delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way.

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