Is ‘nature’ right for you?

I got up at 7am this morning to go for a run. That’s not particularly early, but in the middle of my holidays it certainly felt like it. I had a bowl of porridge for breakfast and then headed out at 7:50am to meet my friend Teri.

I stepped out of the door and started to wonder whether I had got the time wrong.

It was completely dark.

I paused momentarily and considered getting a head torch, but then told myself to suck it up and get going.

I love my new home. I’m starting 2016 with a positive mindset, so I’ve reframed the challenge that my new home presents. I live at the bottom of a ravine, so it’s giving me a great opportunity to become a better hill runner 🙂 It also has a beautiful outlook onto historic ancient woodland. I could spend hours staring at the trees!

Unfortunately, starting my run on a hill with no warm up isn’t easy, so I decided not to look at my Garmin until I got to a flat path. (I later realised that I didn’t look at my Garmin at all during my run, so I have no idea of my pace… and I didn’t take my phone with me, so I have no photos!)

I took a different route from usual which was great and then I got to The Common where I was delighted to see an enormous ‘fairy ring’. When I was growing up, I regularly read about these, but never saw any, so I was sceptical that they existed.

I then decided to take a short cut, so that I could see the fairy ring close up. This was a bad move. What I thought would be a nice trail was 500m of mud enclosed by brambles on both sides – yuk!

I met up with my friend Teri and we quickly fell into a rhythm. I can’t say we were fast, but we had a lot to chat about. I love sociable running. We didn’t feel the need to go at a particular pace and we didn’t have to run far. We frequently see images on TV and in films of female friends meeting up to chat over wine or coffee. Why are they never shown running together? That’s when I have my best chats!

I only did 12.5km today, but it was great to be outside.

A friend shared this video and I felt it was so appropriate for today’s run:

Any form of exercise has health benefits, but these seem to be enhanced by exercising outdoors. Personally, I find that training outside:

  • Relieves stress
  • Isn’t as hot as there’s almost always a breeze
  • Gives me more to look at which means that I don’t get bored
  • Challenges my body more as the terrain isn’t entirely flat
  • Helps me to avoid SAD

Recognised benefits include:

  • Attainment of vitamin D from sun exposure (it’s not too sunny here – if you’re somewhere sunnier, make sure you don’t get burnt!)

I’ve never enjoyed training indoors, so I’m going to continue avoiding the dreadmill in 2016.

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