Take your cardio off the treadmill and explore new ways to rev up your runs.
If your motivation to train is waning then you need to step outside your comfort zone. Researchers found that green workouts not only had the motivational power to make you stick to your training plan, they even encourage you to take on extra workouts.
But if you’re keen to add an extra run to your weekly regimen then you’d do well to escape the congestion of London’s concrete jungle. Trail running on uneven ground is not only more enjoyable but it enhances calorie burn and boosts your fitness gains. With restrictions easing and travel now allowed to most parts of the country, why not maximise every step as we run through the best routes to test your stamina around the UK.
Hampstead Heath, London
You don’t need to go far to step off the beaten track. Tumbling down from majestic Kenwood House to Parliament Hill running track, the Heath is a wild, green sanctuary nestled between the two arms of the Northern Line. The blend of wooded paths, tufted hills and sculpted ponds give urban runners a taste of the trail without the need to make a trek out of the capital. But be warned: you’ll get a hill workout whether you like it or not. And if it rains, there will be mud.
Pentire Headland, Cornwall
Cornwall holds miles of glorious paths, beaches for barefoot sessions and views as you pick your way along the varied terrain. From Fistral beach you can head south up to Pentire headland on a mixture of coastal paths and roads. On one side you can enjoy views of the beach (about half a mile of it at low tide) and on the other side, the Gannel estuary. Go north from the beach to Towan headland and at the lookout hut take a moment to admire your efforts. Then head down to Newquay for a well-earned lunch.
Bath Skyline, Somerset
The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath is both beautiful and lies nestled between seven steep-sided hills with a wealth of outstanding trails, including the 100-mile Cotswold Way. The Bath Skyline follows a stunning six-mile loop of Claverton Down and Bathampton Down through an undulating landscape. Expect winding trails through ancient woodland, hidden valleys, wildflower meadows and wildlife reserves, plus surprise glimpses out across the city.
Pen-y-Ghent, Yorkshire Dales
For the more adventurous: rising to 694m in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales national park, Pen-y-Ghent is visited on the annual Three Peaks Race, a classic on the fell racing calendar that also takes in neighbouring Ingleborough and Whernside. A fantastic section of the Pennine Way runs right over Pen-y-Ghent’s long, ridgeline summit on its 268-mile journey from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, just across the Scottish border. The Pennine Way in its entirety is one of the world’s great running challenges and the current record is 65 hours, 20 minutes and 15 seconds.
Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
Keep heading north and lace up in Scottish capital. Easily accessible from Holyrood Palace, the trails surrounding the rocky summit of Arthur’s Seat offer stunning panoramic views of the city. You can take the strenuous direct route up to the summit but you’ll be reduced to a walk most of the way and forced to barge past breathless tourists. Take the longer, more gentle approach through the surrounding hills and trails for delayed gratification.