Since training for my first marathon, in New York City, I’ve really started to get back into enjoying running again. Having grown up in the countryside, I’m a bit of a country bumpkin at heart and have genuinely loved my long training runs around the area I live… for that reason, I’ve been inspired to write this post for you guys and give you 5 Great reasons to go countryside running.
Running in the countryside brings with it a certain serenity and peace… The absence of busy roads with cars and lorries, rushing to get everywhere they need to go, leaves your mind with a sense of complete calm… Instead of noisy vehicles, you can listen to the sounds of the birds flying above, the wind blowing through the trees, water trickling/gushing down brooks/streams, or children playing and laughing as you pass nearby houses. I prefer to run without music blasting into my ears now, and I tend to find it quite a meditative experience!
On my last 30minute run, at dusk, I literally passed just zero cars and found myself to be much more aware of my other surroundings!! 🙂
Just a 5mile run from my house, and I’m up in the hills/fells that surround the area I live. The views from here are incredible – I can see rolling hills and views over the nearby bay area. Right behind my house is a canal… and there are a few rivers, as well as numerous villages to run through or alongside.
If I go running at dusk, too, the sunsets you see in the countryside (IMHO) are much better than those in the big cities!! 😉
There’s something about jogging past fields full of curious, staring cows, chewing grass as they watch you pass… or of sheep, each running away, as they follow the one you startled, because it didn’t see you approach. The elegant, gliding swans as they swim down the canal, ferociously protecting their family if anyone gets too close for comfort… or the ducks swimming along, looking slightly more frantic. Finally, the silhouettes of birds, graciously flying overhead – lone or in flocks – as they emigrate or fly back to their nests to feed their families.
When I did my final (UK) training run for the New York City Marathon (because I was catching my flight out from Heathrow airport) I went for my run in and around the Hammersmith area of East London… It seems that city folk seem to have more on their mind than happy-go-lucky country folk… Of all the people I attempted to smile at or say hello to – only 2 responded/smiled back!! The rest just avoided eye contact all together!!
In the countryside, the majority of people you come across will smile or say hello as you pass… There tend to be an abundance of happy and friendly walkers, cyclists and other runners if you choose popular routes into the fells or along cycle paths!!
Somehow, when I take a new route into a place I’ve never been before… I find my mind taking me back to a time when I felt like a real explorer. I think back to when I was trekking through a Malaysian National Park, in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo… I was alone, and so aware of all the animals and the nature surrounding me – I was ducking between tree branches and squelching through mud as I watched Probiscus monkeys and silverbacks swinging or jumping from tree to tree around me. Now, when I run through new places (particularly in the countryside) it takes me back to those precious moments in Malaysia and reminds me to look up around me at the sheep in the fields, the birds flying overhead, and to be present in that particular moment – exploring the world again, like a child, looking at everything around me with fresh eyes. 🙂
Do you love countryside running? If so, why? Do you agree with my reasons or have any of your own to add? Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation!!
Love, Magic and Fairy Dust 😉