Joy of off-road running!


I may have banged on about this before, so I do apologise, but my enthusiasm for running on off-road trails overflows sometimes. I feel the need to share my joy of running in the countryside!

I ran on Friday up through the woods and out onto a gorgeous hill which is flat on top, containing a golf course in the middle. The sun was shining, the trees are now in full bloom, and the views are spectacular. I felt I was able to run well, with apparent ease, as I took in all about me and emptied my mind of all concerns. There is, for me, a sense of uplift when in beautiful surroundings, with hardly another soul to see; a joyful feeling of nothing mattering. Focussing on the physical experience of running can also be a distraction from internal worries, prohibiting anxious thoughts from surfacing.

I didn’t take a watch with me on that run, which added to my carefree feeling; I didn’t care how long I took, I just wanted to enjoy the run for its intrinsic value. I think that was a factor in the joy of the run.  I do recommend running without measuring for a refreshing change.

The power of ‘green’ exercise (outdoors in green surroundings) has been studied and revealed to produce greater endurance during exercise to exhaustion and reduced levels of perceived exertion. If you are able to, even if a short car journey is required, find some green space for your exercise and benefit from the joy it can bring.