I think it was Richard Askwith who said that there was ‘more to running than staring at a GPS and NOT eating cream cakes’ and I agree with the sentiment in that there are far greater aspects to running than merely worrying about losing weight and being a slave to watches. One of those greater aspects I feel is getting out into the countryside and running in some inspirational scenery. We are lucky here in Scotland that we can run by rivers and coastlines, go up hills and through glens, cross barren Highlands and weave between Lowland trees and the Winter is a great time to get out and do this type of running.
Just getting out on the trails is extremely accessible and great runs can be found almost anywhere and everywhere. You can combine the speed and ease of road running with the fresh air and open spaces enjoyed by hill runners. You can either just get out on a trail yourself or enter a Trail, Fell or Cross Country type race. Next week that’s exactly what we are doing as we are entering the Illuminator Run, a 15-mile trail race at night through the ancient pine forest at Glen Tanar in the Scottish Highlands. This is a beautiful run and without any light pollution it is pitch black and therefore good head torches, along with the mandatory emergency clothing, are absolutely essential pieces of kit!
Running in an event like this you can become extremely in tune with your running and can sense intensity levels and increase self-awareness and proprioception, sense niggles and how hard to push rather than trying to fulfill what a piece of paper or your GPS is telling you. We’ll let you know how we get on!
So this winter why not get out on the trails for a run; the most novice of runner can tackle many routes whilst others can provide challenges for the most experienced of runners. Trail, Fell or Cross Country running are activities that will hone the skill set and increase the practical strength of all runners and when you’ve finished the run why not have a cream cake!