You’ve probably heard it a thousand times already: That we’re all turning into a nation of couch potatoes. That we all need to be getting more exercise. That running is a great pocket-friendly way to get fit, improve your health and even beat the winter blues. So this winter, I decided to pull on my trainers and give it a try.
And seeing as I’ve recently moved to the utterly gorgeous island of Faial (which also happens to be where the race is happening), I decided to kick-start my personal fitness journey by running this crazily challenging trail run.
So here are my top five reasons for taking part in the 10k leg of the #AzoresTrailRun2017.
#1: Running is brilliant for your body
Yep, I could sign up for the nearest gym and spend hour after hour sweating inside a dark and depressing room, but that would be neither fun nor inspiring. Instead, I throw open the shutters, breathe in the amazing vista of Pico on the horizon and head outside running for an instant health boost that actually feels great!
I love the fact that running isn’t just great for your cardio health either- it builds strong healthy bones, boosts your circulation, trims your waistline, tones your muscles, gets those feel-good endorphins flowing, helps you sleep better, boosts your serotonin levels, gives your skin that enviable glow and many many more things.
Best of all, you can do it just about whenever the mood takes you without worrying about membership payments, opening hours or getting any expensive equipment.
#2: The Azores islands are stunningly beautiful!
The Azores Trail Run 2017 takes place on these breath-taking volcanic subtropical islands positioned deep in the Atlantic Ocean. They’re lush, they’re green, they boast incredibly biodiversity (sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins and the cheeky-sounding Cagarro (Cory’s Shearwater) anyone??) and they were even named by the Telegraph newspaper as ‘Europe’s answer to Hawaii’. Need I say any more?
What better place to beat your personal best and have some adventures at the same time? Did I mention that I get to do my training here too? Lucky me!
#3: Running a 10k is quite a challenge!!
Running a 10k is tough and it takes real dedication and focus! Although I’m hardly what you’d call a seasoned pro, I’m certainly no stranger to competitive running: I ran a 5k a few years back in aid of a friend who sadly died of cancer.
And whilst I certainly could be taking it to the next level by running an easy 10K, why bother making it easy?? The Azores Trail Run offers much more of a challenge, with its varying terrains that are visually stunning, physically challenging and practically guaranteed to completely exhaust me! Bring. It. On!
#4: Trail runs rock!!
Trail runs aren’t just a ton of adventurous fun, they’re actually far better for your body than running on a hard pavement or right on the road. The soften ground on those tracks acts as a shock absorber so your ankles, knees, shins and hips are far likely to suffer injuries.
Not just that- they also give you more of ‘green time’, away from cars, and skyscrapers, and 24/7 WIFI and all the stress and madness that comes with it. Just peace, quiet, calm and bliss!!
#5: Running is moving meditation
If you’re a fan of yoga and mindfulness, you’re going to LOVE trail runs. Because whilst you’re out there running you can really get lost in your thoughts, enjoy some music, feel the elements, disconnect and even find the meaning of life. (At least, that’s how it can feel at times!) Even better if the sun is shining and lighting up the ocean…
For me this is absolutely brilliant because I’m a very busy girl who always has about a million projects happening at once and I don’t often get chance to switch off like this.
Without a doubt, the AzoresTrailRun2017 will be a baptism of fire for me, but I can’t wait to put all this training into action and see what my determination, motivation and dedication will help me achieve. Will you come and cheer me on?