Running is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. It is a cheap and simple sport, yet it is becoming increasingly complicated and expensive. People spend hundreds, even thousands, on the latest ‘buzz-word’ trainers, purpose made clothing, technology that tracks and monitors every aspect of your run (apart from the fun element), subscribe to every possible magazine, website and app, buy the latest protein and electrolyte shakes, gels and supplements. But all running actually comes down, to is getting out there and putting one front in front of the other.
For many, and I will include myself in this sometimes, the true nature of running can become lost within the gear and gadgets, the competitiveness of road racing and idleness of gyms. We have become fixated on time, pace and distance. Our devices on our wrists give us every physiological and performance detail, but one thing they cannot measure is our enjoyment level. Ask yourself, why did you start running in the first place? Most likely it was because you enjoyed it. Now ask yourself, honestly, how many runs do you actually enjoy?
There is more to running than having the latest gear, the top of the range watch, the same old boring road routes. Ditch the tech, ditch the roads and go explore, go get lost and that fun element will start to reappear.
There is nothing better than discovering unexplored parks, rivers, trails and public rights of way across fields and empty green spaces. It is the thrill of discovery and the thrill of getting lost and the challenge of finding your way. You’ll experience the seasonal colours, birds of prey, clean smells and fresh air. You get away from the cars, the traffic, the dull buzzing noise and best of all you get away from breathing in toxic exhaust fumes. Instead of cars you may run through a field of cows (it’s not all that scary once you slow down a bit and get used to it), instead of roads you see rivers and streams and instead of being slowed down by the traffic you get slowed down by the mud, climbing over gates and just by getting lost. It is a chance to escape our working world, our daily lives and any worries that you have at home.
Locally, we have some fantastic trails and open areas to explore. Not too far away is the Sandstone trail, Gritstone trail, Delamere and Macc Forest. On our doorstep are hundreds of public rights of way, vastly underused by runners. Check out Cheshire East Public Rights of Way online for a detailed interactive map of all the trails and public paths. So many of my clients come to me often frustrated and losing motivation towards their running, my best advice is always: once in a while ditch the watch, ditch your usual road route and just run for the sheer enjoyment of it and more often and not this has revitalised their running self-esteem.
So, next time you are going for a run, mix it up a bit, do things differently, dare to just enjoy yourself.
As always if you have any questions or would like any further help just get in touch.
AC Running and Fitness.