So, this week, we are going to be talking about whether you prefer running road, or trail. It is, I have discovered, a very personal thing.
Myself, I prefer road. One of my running buddies is with me on that, and the other friend likes trail better.
At this time of year, particularly as we are now getting into the frosty mornings, I do find it safer to alter my running route and favour the local nature reserve. It is flat, and mainly grass underfoot, making it the ideal place for an early morning session. The last thing you want is to slip over on a patch of black ice and break a bone.
At the beginning of the year, we had a lovely holiday to Yorkshire, discovering again the delights of Bronte Country. A walk from the Parsonage up to Top Withens is a famous one, and enjoyed by many. It is, though, not an easy course, and I found myself struggling over the rockier parts of it. As I looked around at the magnificent countryside however, I saw, in the distance, a lady runner. She was bouncing along over the rocks and tricky parts of the path with ease, and flew past us like a gazelle, disappearing into the heather until we could see her no more. I had to admit that I was really rather envious. Of course, if I had attempted to do the same, the results would have been catastrophic, and almost certainly would have included the air ambulance, not to mention mountain rescue. Such is my clumsiness over rough terrain.
So, generally it’s road all the way for me, with a sprinkle of canal side, and nature reserve mixed in when the weather dictates.
My admiration for trail runners though is immense. It requires quick thinking, sharp reflexes and huge amounts of stamina and determination. Then there are your tough mudders, Ironman and ultras; you’ve got to be made of strong stuff to get through those.
Whatever your choice this winter, be it road, trail or beach….enjoy. The great outdoors and nature can be at its most beautiful this time of year.
Happy running everyone.