This morning I went out for a run. A 6 mile, reasonably-paced run, through a local country park called Haigh Hall. It's one of my favourite places to run. Good incline variation, a challenge at pace, with plenty of fellow runners & walkers, but not too many. It never feels too full or that you are dodging oncomers. With scenery that could be anywhere but an old Northern mining town, it really is a personal oasis of calm.
It is like a hidden world amongst the madness and rush of the real world. However, it's also somewhere I don't run too often. Once a week at the moment, but a real highlight. Other runners & walkers actually say "hello" as you pass. A novelty in today's world of heads down ignorance.
Normally, I am an out-and-out road runner. I travel to work early, arriving around 6am and set off on the streets of Manchester. I'm lucky that my job means a variation of venues across the city so I get to sample some of the delights both in the city and the surrounding communities. From Wythenshawe and Didsbury, to Harpurhey and the
Irk Valley. A plethora of sights, sounds and vehicles in the rat race.
Where you run is vitally important to helping you pursue and continue your training. There are many days when I switch a routine run at the last minute. I run in the opposite direction; take a different turn or extend my run whilst out (I never shorten!)
I certainly don't like treadmill running. I'd rather not go at all. That isn't to discount its value; I have done more than my fair share. It's just not my thing. I never feel the full benefit and feel that the treadmill is pulling me along. If you do insist in incorporating treadmill running into your training, do so on an incline of at least 0.5. It represents a more realistic likeness to the natural incline of the road.
It's important to mix it up. Staying at the same distance and same route can lead to you becoming disengaged and it stops becoming a challenge. Your body becomes used to the distance and pace, and soon the progress will start to slow. Keep the internal motivation and sense of renewal and challenge going by changing your routine. Step out of your comfort zone and push you boundaries. Only you have put them there in the first place; don't let anyone, especially yourself, limit your possibilities.
For me, road & path running, either through the streets or country parks like Haigh Hall is definitely my favourite. I'll be back chasing down the cars in the Manchester traffic from 6am on Monday. Honk if you see me!