Questions & answers outdoors training


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Health and Wellness Programs FAQ’s

Classes FAQ’s

Training Kit FAQ’s

How long have you been doing this?

I have been part of the sports  industry for 19+ years, coaching for 4 as a personal trainer and 1 year as a Karate teacher. The outdoors have always been there for my health and wellbeing but only in the past years I began understanding the effects on the human physiology and mental health. In terms of depression and stress, besides finding myself suffering from depression for a very long time and I managed to go through many depressions by myself. Please read more about my credentials on my LinkedIn profile


What is the investment required?

There is an initial deposit and the rest should be pain 60 days before arrival. The total investment for Dracula’s Retreat in 2017 is £550. Please click the following links to see What’s Included and What’s Not Included and Home page for more information.


How are you different from other Personal Trainers or Health Coaches?

I am an Outdoor Transformational Health and Wellness Coach. By using only the natural environment and looking at all areas of your life and health we achieve the massive transformation. You will learn about your body, how it functions and how to listen and understand it. You will begin to have more control over your body and so over your own thoughts and emotions. You will be fitter and stronger and so feel more confident in your own body. In a 5 day retreat you will only get an introduction to the training techniques. After that, regular training can get further results.


Who are your clients?

My clients are runners and individuals who want to get out of the gym and back to nature. They like nature, the rain, the cold, the sun and don’t mind getting their hands in the mud, or getting their clothes dirty.

Ages ranges from 20 years to 60 years old. Some of my clients come after their doctor or therapist gave them the OK to start exercising after injuries.


Have you worked with someone like me before?

I have worked with many clients who suffer from lower back pain, knee pain runners who get recurring injuries and more. But the best way to ensure we are a good Coach-Student fit is to book a consultation so we can go over your particular situation. Email to book.


What do you like most about what you are doing?

Showing you there is a way of training your whole body in the outdoors, that there is not need to fancy, artificial equipment.


Do you have specific training to deal with mental illnesses?




Why outdoor, why not a gym, it’s still exercising?

It is indeed, however it has been scientifically proven that simply by connecting with the Earth can have benefits at a physical and mental level, reducing inflammation in the body, improving circulation, reduce stress, anxiety and depression. If you have ever fallen asleep in a tent while camping or on a beach you noticed how restful your sleep was, the reason is because Earthing (being in contact with the Earth) improves sleep and overall wellbeing.


Can I pay in installments?

Yes, after you pay the deposit you can pay the rest of the amount in 2 (two) installments. Email to request.


Do you do Personal Training?

Personal Training is part of the programs after the retreat, if you are interested. That is what we do outdoor using the natural environment.


What type of exercises do you do?

I combined 19+ years of experience in the sports and fitness industry to create some great programs for you. We will learn natural movement – catching, carrying,  throwing, balancing, crawling, hanging. We will also incorporate elements of Yoga and Qigong.


Where are the classes held?

During the Retreat the classes will take place outdoors, unless the weather doesn’t allow us to. Locations will vary, some sessions may be in the back yard of the inn, others in the nearby forests, and of course hiking is up the mountain.


How long are the classes?

2hrs long. Hiking will be a whole day.


Do I have to join the classes?

No. You do not have to join classes if you don’t wish to. 


Is training suitable for beginners?

YES. Training is suitable for beginners.


Do I need to be super-fit?



Do I need to do a fitness assessment?

NO. However you will be required to fill in a written health and fitness form before booking.


Should I check with my doctor before I start training?

If you have an underlying or family health issue that you feel that would effect your training or be affected by the training, then it is recommended that you seek the advice of a doctor or medical consultant. You will be expected to complete a health and fitness form before booking.


Can I train if I have asthma?

On the basis that your doctor or specialist has not advised you otherwise yes you can train. The only requirement that we insist on is that you must bring your inhaler with you to the sessions. Please make sure that you advise one of the trainers on your arrival at your session that you suffer with asthma.



It’s raining! It’s snowing!, It’s cold! It’s too hot! – will there be a training camp?

YES, YES, YES and YES. We will be there whatever the weather! When you train in all weather conditions then you can be prepared for all eventualities in your life. Training in harsher weather conditions is going to push up your endurance levels, thus burning more calories and increase your fitness. It is also good to keep in a routine of training, so that you can complete your training plan. But probably most important is that nature is resilient and by working with it you take on that resilience, that strength and power which you can take into your life and your family’s life.

Dracula’s Retreat in 2017 takes place during the summer, it might rain or it might be very, very hot.


What should I do if I have an injury or I am ill?

If you have or think you have an injury or illness it is important for you to let your trainer know at the beginning of the session. Ultimately it is your decision as to whether or not to train. Bottom line is that if you are not sure, then you probably shouldn’t. If you injure yourself during a session, then you need to immediately inform one of the trainers so they can take the appropriate action. In all cases we recommend you to go to your A&E or doctor as soon as possible.


Are there any toilets, showers and changing rooms?


Not during our sessions, but when we come back at the inn we have everything.


What do I do if I have a cut or open wound?

If you cut yourself during the session with a sharp or unknown object it is recommended that you have a tetanus jab. Tetanus is caused by infection with Clostridium tetani bacteria. These bacteria can enter your body through a wound or cut in your skin. They are often found in soil and manure. Similarly, you are at risk if you arrive at training with an existing cut or open wound. For more information visit the NHS website.


Is it ok to eat before training?

It is important not to eat anything substantial 2-3 hours before training. A piece of fruit like an apple or banana 1 hour before is fine. Alternatively, Frutina natural real fruit snack (100% fruit) is what I will often eat 15-30 minutes before training. It is a great natural fructose boost and it breaks down very quickly and put little demands on my digestive system and therefore won’t make demands on my energy system.

Just remember, depending on the season, you will be jogging, running, jumping, twisting and if you have full breakfast or meal in side you it will churn and make you feel sick.


What do I need to bring?

Optional items

Optional items to keep on you during training. Please note once we are out training you will not be able to leave them anywhere. In theory in a 50 minute session then you possibly can manage without.

  • Water and/or isotonic drink 750ml.
  • Snack bars, energy bars, sports bars or fruit leathers.
  • Small pack of tissues/wipes (for toilet use).
  • RUCKSACK – waterproofed see FAQ below & only required if you are removing layers or to take bars and water). Alternatively bottle & snack bar belt if you want to carry them yourself. Otherwise you will not need to carry them.

Optional items dependant on weather

  • COLD WEATHER – If it is the time of year where the weather ter is less than 4 degrees you may wish to consider a thermal top or a thin neoprene sleeveless top. Please be aware you will be training for the entire session with it on so make sure you are comfortable.
  • RAIN – Lightweight breathable waterproof jacket and beanie type hat.
  • COLD – Thin layers is the best option. fingerless gloves (cycling or gym type) and beanie type hats.
  • SUN – Sun block & head wear as you feel is appropriate.
  • COOLING DOWN – Just remember after a full training session your body will cool down, so have extra layers with you.
  • INSECT REPELLENT – Bear in mind that midges and mosquitoes are in the parks on both dry and wet days.

NOTE – Make sure that if you are wearing any of these optional items that you are wearing a suitable size rucksack that will fit all these layers, as you will get hot within 10 minutes of training and are likely to remove some if not all of them. We will carry the water and snack for you.



What do I need to wear?

Just remember that, depending on the season, you may be running through water and maybe mud, jogging, jumping, lifting, playing games. So anything you wear has to be hard wearing and may get dirty/muddy. We recommend you wear loose comfortable clothing but not baggy. It is important to remember that even if the air temperature is cold once you start to train you will get hot. So layers is the answer. Make sure that any layers you take off you are able to fit into your rucksack. You may also need to cover your arms or legs if you are sensitive to midges & mosquitoes when in season. There will be element of trial and error.

For our recommended kit list click here.

If the weather is mild shorts will be ok otherwise trousers if it is cold. Make sure you have good space in the groin area and knees otherwise they will rip. Here’s a test – Sit on the floor, place the soles of your feet together and lower your knees out to the side so they are close to the ground. If your trousers/shorts are preventing you from doing this then you need to source others.

Can be vests or t-shirts, ideally a good moisture wicking top underneath or over will keep you drier. We recommend wearing arm sleeves. This way you can adjust to the weather without having to change your top. You can buy specialist sports ones. A DIY option is to take a pair of regular black men’s socks and cut the toes off and the heel makes a good elbow bend.

If it is cold we suggest a long sleeve base layer top.

Are optional. However if it is cold we recommend you wear gloves fingerless are ideal either mountain bike or gym with a good snook fit. Here’s some recommendations, these or these

Running shoes with some grip, barefoot and minimalistic shoes are suitable if you have used them for a while and transitioned safely.. Recommended barefoot and minimalist shoes click here.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Sometimes you cannot avoid it and your kit may get dirty, wet or muddy so you will need to plan to change at the end of the session or when you get to work. Please enquire if unsure.


How do I plan for the weather?

The key is be prepared. Always check the weather forecast. But don’t always rely on the accuracy. Just because the weather is OK before you leave home or work, bear in mind it can change during a the session. Then the real fun begins.

Be prepared for all weathers and you’re covered. See FAQs ‘What do I need to wear?’ & ‘What do I need to bring?’. Wear layers rather than individual thick items. This way you can take the layers off one at a time. Thin and insulating items are more practical. Plus keep in mind you will cool down rapidly after the session.


How should I prepare for sessions on sunny days?

We are all different and we need to learn how our body works so please be prepared for UVA exposure even on overcast days. Wear suitable sunblock, head wear, and bring extra drinks as you feel is appropriate for you. This will reduce the risk of sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration.


Do I need a rucksack?

On the basis that you will need to remove any layers of clothing, or to store snacks or drinks then you will need to wear a rucksack whilst training. Tying tops around your neck or waist is not permitted for health and safety reasons. Please note there is NO STORAGE whilst out training apart from what you leave at base camp or cars.

We recommend a small rucksack that is lightweight and minimalistic. Probably around 10 to 15 litres in size. Best bet is to test how much space you need to carry optional layers of clothes and refreshments. We highly recommend one with a chest and a waist band which will provide a more secure fitting. We also recommend that you WATERPROOF it by placing your contents in a durable black bin liner cut to size with a plastic clamp to keep the rain out. The sessions are only 50 min long so you should judge how you need to be prepared. Trial and error, that’s how we learn. You will not be alone though.
Alternatively for those not bringing and additional layers a water/ snack bar belt or bum belt will be sufficient.


How do I avoid getting sores & chafing ?

Not everyone does. But those of you who do try using BODYGLIDE. The Anti-Chafe balm helps prevent and relieve hotspots on feet, and chafed, chapped and cracked skin from head to toe. It penetrates the skin and creates an invisible, comfortable barrier against friction and moisture – without clogging pores or trapping perspiration, feels ‘dry’ to the touch. Vaseline can be used but it tends to be messier and can damage your clothing.


Do I need to bring my own water?

YES. We recommend 500 ml bottle or water and/or isotonic drink for most people. This can be in a sports water bottle. Try to avoid screw top lids that need to be removed to drink as they are fiddly when on the move. On very cold weather you may also want have water and/or a hot drink in a flask for after training.


Should I bring food?

YES. We recommend a couple of energy bars, fruit leathers or sports bars. By the way try to only have a small snack in the 3 hours before a training session. Also have food for after training if you know you need it.


What do I do with my valuables?

We recommend that you do not bring anything that you do not need as there is nowhere to store it other than in your waterproofed rucksack or at the Inn (see FAQ above) on your own resposibility. The management will not take responsibility for your possessions so please make sure you are satisfied with where they are left if they are not on your person.


Should I bring my mobile phone?

For emergency reasons we recommend that you bring a mobile phone, you can use a running arm pocket. Always make sure you have one of the trainers’ mobile numbers just in case.

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