It’s time to embrace running in its most brutal and basic form: cross-country. The ultimate example of Type 2 fun – that’s an activity you enjoy only in retrospect – cross-country is a great test of mental and physical strength. While the obstacle racers pay upwards of £100 to be anointed a ‘Tough Guy’, you can enjoy the thrills and spills of the British countryside for a fraction of that price. You just have to become a member of your local running club.
Summer schedules are packed with weddings, holidays and family get-togethers. Autumn, by contrast, is a bit more relaxed. Take advantage of a few spare weekends by exploring some new routes or even trying ‘fastpacking’, that’s the middle ground between running and backpacking.
If you live in a touristy area, or simply run on popular summer trails, autumn offers the welcome return of some peace and quiet. The holidaymakers have gone home and running routes are now populated mostly by, well, runners. Disvoer some new trails for yourself at nationaltrail.co.uk
Granted, the British summer is hardly a cauldron of boiling hot weather, but there’s no denying that autumn’s cooler temperatures make it more suited for running. Hence the reason there are so many autumn marathons. Unlike in winter, you shouldn’t be absolutely freezing but, equally, there’s no longer any need to worry about getting a vest tan.
Looking to run a marathon PB in spring? What you do between October and December will have a huge bearing on whether you achieve it or not. Knuckle down now, embrace cross-country, plan a few new routes, and head into 2017 with the foundations for a spring and summer of success.