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