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Navigation for runners

"I feel like I learned a lot without it ever feeling laborious or unachievable.  I definitely feel a lot more confident about being able to navigate"

Kirsty, 2018


Navigation is an essential skill for anyone heading away from the security of roads and parks. It is the fundamental skill needed to break the barrier that limits us to familiar trails and opens up a world of exploring new possibilities.

As a runner we want to navigate differently to hill-walkers. We can show you simple techniques that keep your navigation fast and fluid, keeping you on track without having to stop as well as knowing what to do when we get lost!

We will start with fundamental good habits of map setting and direction finding and use these to help us to navigate around a variety of trails. As we go we will add to this with recognising different features on the ground and map along with ways to measure distance as we go.

Compass skills start simple, to check the direction of our trails and help us to find where we are. This builds to using a compass to go cross-country, away from the trail.

We will look at route planning skills and resources, so we set off running knowing how far it is, how much climbing is involved and how long it will take us.

In both Aviemore and the Pentland hills we have a huge variety of trails and locations that we can use for our training. This course includes one full day of instruction and does not include accommodation or meals, allowing you the flexibility to choose your own.

Dates for 2018 & 2019

Date Price Availability Book Now
24th November 2018 - Pentlands £65 FULLY BOOKED  Waiting list
25th November 2018 - Pentlands £65 FULLY BOOKED Waiting list 
13th April 2019  Pentlands £65  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now
14th April 2019  Pentlands £65  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now
3rd July 2019 Aviemore £60  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now
17 August 2019 Aviemore £60  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now
26th October 2019  Pentlands £65  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now
27th October 2019  Pentlands £65  PLACES AVAILABLE  Book now


If these dates don't work for you please get in touch to arrange a bespoke course.


Experience and fitness

The day will be a mix of a number of short runs, active workshops and some indoor sessions, so a basic level of running fitness is all you need to make the most of the weekend. If you can run 5k without stopping you should be fine.

No previous navigation experience is necessary.

Kit you will need

The workshops will be a mix of indoor and outdoor sessions.


Warmer jacket

Trail running shoes - Get in touch if you want more advice before the course.

Clean trainers for indoors



Small rucksack - We will never be too far from the base, so you will not need to carry much kit, just a warm jacket and water.

Headtorch - September to April

Compass if you have one

Maps will be provided

Getting here

Pentland hills courses

We are based at the Bonaly Outdoor Centre just off the Edinburgh bypass

Directions are here


Aviemore courses

We will meet at Aviemore Tennis Club

There is parking on site and it is 15 minutes walk from Aviemore train station.


These courses don't include accommodation or meals allowing you the flexibility to choose your own


Aviemore has a wide variety of accommodation options

Previous courses

"It was a great day, really enjoyed it. I think I have the hang of it now!"

Lorna M, Navigation for runners 2018

"A very enjoyable day on all counts. Ian ran the course in a thoughtful and professional manner, and the course was tailored to meet everybody's objectives. (Really important point if you are not sure wether to go or not)"

John C, Navigation for runners 2018


"Both days were really enjoyable, interesting learning experiences and I got a lot out of yesterday's run. You've got a brilliantly relaxed teaching style.  You're able to impart a lot of knowledge and experience effectively.  I feel like I learned a lot without it ever feeling laborious or unachievable.  I definitely feel a lot more confident about being able to navigate a new route somewhere I've not been before and will be more adventurous in route planning, especially when I'm out on my own. "

Kirsty, Navigation for runners and mountain running skills 2018

More information can be found here

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