2020欧洲杯体育投注开户There has been no shortage of “running saved my life” memoirs in recent years. Claire Maxted has a different theory, though. “A lot of people are getting anxious and depressed and they think running is the cure, but I don’t think it is,” says the co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine. “I think it’s more about the lack of time in nature and the outdoors that makes us unwell. It’s not running that is the cure, it is time spent out in nature.”
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户So if you discovered running on empty lockdown streets, but feel saddened by the return of traffic, it might be time to head off-road. It’s easier than you think, says Maxted, who now.
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户She defines trail running as off-road, but on a reasonable path “that doesn’t look like it’s going to kill you” – anything from canal towpaths to paths through woodland.
Trail is a bridge between the intense, pathless fell running and road running. Compared with the latter, it’s more of an all-body workout. Uneven ground causes you to use more muscles to stabilise yourself. “There’s less chance of injury than in road running,” she adds, “and it burns more calories.” Knowing where to go can be the hardest part of getting started. Forget driving to the hills. From your doorstep you might be running on trails and not noticing. “If you’re running through the park, then you’re already a trail runner,” says Maxted.
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户Follow the green dotted lines on local maps that indicate paths and go on a run. Leave time to spare and, if you see a footpath or bridleway sign, go and explore. Don’t be afraid to jump that stile or push through that gate.
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户“Turn around every so often and take a photo to find your way back,” says Maxted. “Look for tall buildings, church spires or radio masts that can help you orientate yourself. You don’t need to be a great runner, you just need to have a sense of adventure.”
Take a lightweight jacket in case the weather changes and a snack in your pocket. Trail-running shoes have a lower profile, so you can feel the ground, and bigger grips for muddy conditions, but they aren’t strictly necessary.
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户Times, and personal bests, are less important when you might get lost. At races there are elite trail runners, but in the mid-pack, says Maxted, the emphasis is on camaraderie. “If you want to take a photo and eat a piece of cake, that’s allowed,” says Maxted. “It’s about appreciating nature and views. It’s less about what you’re doing and more about appreciating the fact you’re alive.”
2020欧洲杯体育投注开户Theo Larn-Jones, the agrees: “The most boring thing anyone can tell me about running is how fast they’ve run a 5k or marathon. I just don’t care.” There are so many more interesting things about running, he says: “What it can teach you about yourself, the runner’s high and being with your environment.”
The first Love Trails took place in 2016 after Larn-Jones and his friends in his urban running crew wanted to escape the city and run in nature. A weekend in north Wales has grown into a music festival with 2,000 attendees, where environmental psychology is more important than competition; there are no races, instead attendees are encouraged to run a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon, whatever they fancy. Wild swimming stop-offs are often a midway feature of runs, to slow the pace and keep the sense of community.
The fifth Love Trails was scheduled for July 2-5, but had to be cancelled due to coronavirus. Yet the community has rallied behind the organisers. On July 4 there’s a virtual event instead, where people can take part in their own trail runs. “To make it more like Love Trails, we’re challenging people to do a bingo list along the way: climbing a tree or doing a cartwheel,” says Larn-Jones. “We want people to have a mindful run that interacts with the natural environment.” The £20 entry fee – which includes access to online talks and classes – will go towards losses from this year.
Maxted has these tips for those taking their first steps in trail running. “Look ahead more than you would on the road. You need to pick your feet up more over obstacles. There are rocks and roots to navigate around or over; lots more for your brain to do.” And don’t be afraid to walk! “Walk up the hills if it’s a long distance,” Maxted says. “Power walking is more efficient than getting out of breath.” But most of all, “stop to enjoy the views, hear the birds and appreciate where you are.”