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Hitting the trails

'Happy Global Running Day' and what better day than today to write a blog post about running!

If you've read a bit about me you've probably seen that I have predominantly been a triathlete until the last few years when I have taken to trail running. When I got my dog a few years ago, this seemed the perfect opportunity to get out and explore more so we're often seen running together and I much prefer running in the hills with him than on the streets of Shrewsbury.

The great thing about running, whether road or trail is that it's suitable for all ages and abilities and it can always be tailored to make it as tough or as easy as you like.

To many though, the idea of trail running may seem a daunting place to start especially if you are a beginner runner - but I honestly cannot recommend it enough and don't let starting out put you off exploring the trails. For me personally I find hitting the trails gives me a completely different freedom and excitement than what I get with road running. It's a much easier place to switch off as I'm not consumed by my Garmin (which we're all guilty of) and I end up watching the hills and views go by with the different terrains and undulations adding to the excitement.

If you are local to Shropshire and looking to get into trail running, there's no better places than exploring Haughmond Hill or Church Stretton.

Haughmond Hill is a great starting place for anyone new to running, I did one of my first tail runs there. There are so many different paths, terrains, elevations (nothing too steep) and views to see all looping back on each other so you can make it as long or as short as you want to without getting lost or having to worry about finding the car again. Below is a map of a 4 mile route I did around there yesterday, taking in both view points with a mixture of gravel and single tracks, jumping over tree roots and thankfully fairly clear of the brambles.

Your confidence will grow as you build up the miles, and at first it can feel like you're running through treacle but don't let that put you off! Trail running offers a completely different demand on the body so adjust your pace to suit the conditions and there is absolutely no shame in walking up the hills if needed.

Before lockdown I organised an introduction to trail running and as lockdown eases more plans are afoot so watch this space. If you want any tips or advice with regards to trail running drop me a message and let me know.

Map of Haughmond Hill trail run.

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