Love your land­scape

You don’t need to scale the Alps to truly make the most of trail run­ning

Trail Running (UK) - - Warm- Up -

If you spend too much time on so­cial me­dia, it feels like ev­ery­one is off run­ning epic races and trails. A bit of me has ‘FOMO’ (fear of miss­ing out) and the rest of me is quite happy just run­ning for the sake of it, en­joy­ing how dif­fer­ent my lo­cal trails look in sum­mer when they’re all over­grown and bathed in light rather than mud.

To be hon­est, I trained so hard for the Manch­ester Marathon in April that I’m strug­gling to com­mit to train for an­other big race, es­pe­cially with a very busy two-year-old who’s no longer keen on long spells in his run­ning buggy. I’m also cross-train­ing more by swim­ming at my lo­cal lake and stand-up pad­dle­board­ing. Last year I was so keen to re­gain my fit­ness and prove I could still run af­ter a baby that I signed up to more races, in­clud­ing my first ul­tra­ma­rathon at Race to the Stones. Now I no longer feel I have any­thing to prove and en­joy run­ning for the sake of it.

En­gage with the trail

When I get time to hit the trails now I try to en­gage with them more. I switch off my mu­sic and lis­ten to the birds and the rus­tle of the breeze in the trees. I seek out cool, earthy, wooded trails when it’s hot or revel in the sea views on the South West Coast Path when vis­it­ing fam­ily. I’m also lucky to work next to a Na­tional Trust prop­erty with a lovely lake and wooded trails to run on at lunchtimes. I’m us­ing the trails as a way to recharge from the busy life and stress of par­ent­ing a very de­ter­mined tod­dler, and work­ing full-time.

Find your happy place

That said, when I couldn’t find a race that grabbed my fancy and en­cour­aged me to train, I asked my­self where my favourite place to run is. At the mo­ment, it’s the South West Coast Path. My birth­day present to my­self in a cou­ple of weeks is two days of run­ning along it solo – Char­mouth to Port­land and the sec­ond day fin­ish­ing at Dur­dle Door – no doubt end­ing in a sea swim. There will be no time goals to hit or medals to win, just the quiet sat­is­fac­tion of a chal­leng­ing run, great views and a goal com­pleted.

So­phie plans to run to Dur­dle Door on the South West Coast Path, then cel­e­brate with a dip in the sea!

So­phie’s main goal is to en­joy the beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tions she runs in

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