#Run1000Miles puts a spring in your step

As a new season approaches, Trail Running editor Paul Larkins is relieved the #Run1000Miles challenge has seen him through a winter’s running

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Winter is an odd beast. Early on, I love running in the cold and wet. Even the dark nights don’t do much in the way of putting me off. Or at least they don’t in November, December and even part of January. But now it’s February I can officially announce I’m fed up with it now and can’t wait for spring.

Thank goodness then for #Run1000Miles. If I didn’t have that as a goal, I know for a fact I would be struggling for motivation and inspiration. Given I don’t have any races planned for the near future, I need a goal to make sure I head out of the door and the 1000 miles is just that.

Currently, I’m on about 20 miles a week and have been for the past two months. That means, while I’m not exactly race-sharp, nor am I out of shape. Far from it, in fact. I prefer to think I’m ready to start training hard again and can’t wait to get in a few 10-milers – as long as it’s warm, sunny and generally more accommodating than the weather – invariably windy and cold in the Fens where I live.

Of course, all the crew here at the magazine are lucky when it comes to trail running; not least because that’s our job after all and we get to do it daily and call it work! But what’s actually better than that is the office’s location – right next to a huge country park, perfect for off-road running. In fact, you can’t actually run on the road at lunchtime because there are so many trails and tracks to explore. I’d like to add that they are empty but in reality, a fair few writers from other titles as diverse as Bird Watching and Performance Motorbikes head out for a half hour run most days. It’s not an exaggeration to say it’s a perfect location and great for clearing your mind. Had a finance meeting? Take 30 minutes and explore - it does wonders for your mindset!

I have to admit I do love lunchtimes for exactly that reason; trail running has a wonderful ability to clear your mind, and it also has an uncanny power to help you come up with some great ideas. Just yesterday, for instance, I found myself crossing the river and dodging under an electric fence that keeps the horses in their field. A fast pace clearly wasn’t on the agenda, which got me thinking: isn’t that why we love trail so much? Who cares how fast you went or what your speed per mile was? More than any other running sport, trail running is all about taking part; not where you came.

This is, I guess, why #Run1000Miles is so popular. Yes, there’s a target, but who cares if you hit it or not? It’s a journey to enjoy! Have a great next run and remember - spring is but a few weeks away.