Marathon des Sables ultra-athlete Tobias Mews review

Spartan Race Camp_ZayneandTobias

If you’ve read Part 1 to this post, then you’ll know that just getting to the start of Spartan Race Training Camp was a bit of an adventure, but what happened during the course of 4 hours in Pippingford Park in the company of 8 or so other obstacle nutters, deserves a post of its own!

Having spent 6 years in the regular army, including officer training at Sandhurst, I figured I had a good grasp on how obstacle courses work.  And since leaving the Army 5 years ago, I’ve reached the peak of my physical fitness, having just returned in April from completing the Marathon des Sables, where I came 15th and the following weekend running 2.51 at the London Marathon.  Add to this that my girlfriend Zayne has been serving in the Army Reserves for 10 years,  I would not normally have thought we’d need to do an obstacle course training camp.  So, why on earth were we there? Continue reading

Training Camp Review by Fiona Bugler at She Runs She Writes

I spent yesterday in Pippingford Park, near Nutley East Sussex, an MOD training ground, taking part in a Spartan Race Training Day[Spartan Race Training is the Spartan Race Training arm of Wild Forest Gym, coached by Head Coach Michael Cohen.]

“‘Don’t be late’ said the welcome email. ‘Spartans are always prepared’. ‘AROO! AROO!’ A-what…? More of that later.

“I arrived on time (a miracle!) and chatted to the other ‘Spartans’, many of whom are regulars on the obstacle course circuit. I was in the advanced group, ‘You think you’re fit! You’ve signed up for the advanced course’ group leader Michael reminded us. There were five women and around 10 guys. The women included Annie, a former world class triathlete, Lauren, a super fit regular obstacle racer, Chrissie, a PT/pole dancing instructor and member of a rock band, and Alexandra, who regularly trained with Michael and had immense core strength. The girls kind of stuck together, and we certainly gave the fellas a run for their money! Continue reading

Tough Mudder London North Review – 5 May 2013

This is the 2nd year for Tough Mudder in the UK. Having trained dozens of Mudders for this years series it only seemed appropriate to  stand up and join them at Tough Mudder London North.

On 5th May the weather had broken and as I am driving to Kettering, Northamptonshire, the venue of Tough Mudder North the sun is shining. This 20km /11.5 mile obstacle course race is set in the amazing and manicured grounds of Boughton House and Estate. I decided to arrive 2 hours before the first wave was due to set off at 9am not knowing how busy the carpark and registration was going to be. Continue reading


Bournemouth Echo

Bournemouth Echo Newspaper

Maria Court

March 2013

Click on the following links to view pdf Page 1 Page 2.

Bournemouth EchoMaria Court gets back to to nature for an exercise programme in the heart of the Forest.

I’ve just gone feral.

Or as one dictionary describes it: ‘existing in a wild or natural state, especially after domestication’. Continue reading

Feel the burn: The hardcore world of extreme outdoor gyms

Independant Newspaper review of Fild Forest Gym

The Independent Newspaper

Saturday 16 March 2013

By Jamie Merrill

Original article

If you go down to the woods today…prepare to sweat, burn and have your stomach turned. The latest fitness fad is ‘extreme outdoor exercise’, and it’s not for wimps, says Jamie Merrill.

It’s a cold winter afternoon and I’m ankle-deep in mud and struggling to lift a felled tree trunk on to my shoulders. I’m not a tough guy who lifts weights in the gym and the last time I took my dust-covered road bike for a spin around the park was nearly three months ago, but my coach doesn’t seem to care. His name is Michael Cohen and he’s soon got me down on my hand and knees in the thick, black mud of Ruislip Forest in west London. Continue reading

My First WFG Obstacle Training Session

Today I found myself up at 6am, porridge in hand, with plans to go to the Wild Forest Gym in Ruislip. Why was I up so early? Well, looking at the journey a couple of days previously, I had estimated it would take me the best part of 2 hours to travel there in time for the ambitious start time of 9am. Fuelled up and ready to go, I undertook the epic journey to the forest! When I finally got there at 9.10, huffing and puffing and cursing my sense of direction, the other two members and the instructor Michael were already waiting for me. After a brief introduction, and a well placed rebuke regarding my orienteering skills, we got started. Continue reading

Training for Tough Mudder in Bracknell!


Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, determination, and camaraderie.

Tough Mudder Training Session Details

We train in the wild…heavily ridged…rooted…muddy… Swinley Forest just west of London. It is the most perfect terrain for obstacle course training for Tough Mudders! Tough Mudders never compromise! Tough Mudders get the best! OORAH! Continue reading

Training Day for Tough Mudder Part 1

tough mudder training day

Was it to be a typical session?

Firstly, there is no such thing as typical. Every Obstacle Course Training Session is unique.  This is determined by weather, participants abilities and group dynamics. But one thing that can be guaranteed is that no 2 sessions are the same. This is an important starting point to training. Repetition is like walking around blinkered. It is confining and is a form of isolation that limits the way your mind and body functions and how it can develop. Continue reading