Home For The Holidays
If you plan to holiday at home this year, we've got it covered...
For many, the winning formula for holidays revolves around a blend of sun, sea, and relaxation. Runners, being a funny bunch, adhere to a slightly different mantra when it comes to choosing a vacation. From personal experience, whenever my partner suggests a prospective location, my first thoughts are - and I’m in no doubt she can hear the grinding mechanics of a none too subtle mind – does it offer suitable terrain for running?
Combining the opportunity to run, be it in a competition or simply a few mid-afternoon miles, with a hiatus from working life, can be an ideal holiday for many runners. And you don’t have to go abroad to achieve it...
While a knee-jerk reaction to choosing a summer holiday often involves scanning budget airlines for a flight to a European hotspot, the UK boasts a few hidden gems, as many of us discovered during the course of the pandemic. Head to the more remote parts of the UK to find fantastic scenery and unspoiled terrain. And don’t worry you won’t have to renew your passport.
The company Trail Running Scotland, for example, offers trips and day excursions, one of these is the Highland Grand Tour - a five-day point-to-point trip. Guided excursions like this will allow you to see the Scottish Highlands in its full grandeur, meaning you can enjoy a rewarding running session with some truly breathtaking backdrops.
Organising your holiday through a running tour operator will also allow you to concentrate on the running rather than worrying about the inconveniences of travelling. Most companies will transport your bags between accommodation stops and provide assistance if needed.
If it’s sun you’re after head to the opposite end of the British Isles where there’s a good chance you will need some UV protection for the North Downs 30K in Gravesend. The race takes place every June and is regularly featured as one of the most popular runs in Britain. In addition to a fun run and live post-race music, there are several campsites, cottages and farmhouses to cater for entertainment and accommodation for the whole family.
With a big event on the horizon, a weekend away that involves some supervised training can be the ideal way for you to test your progress and push you to the next level. Companies often offer specialised training from experienced coaches and one-on-one advice from personal trainers. This is vital as there will no doubt be a mix of runners on differing levels, all seeking a different goal at the end of the training.
Weekend packages are usually all encompassing and cover services that will enhance your prospects of improved running. Running Trips training camps consist of a weekend of high-performance coaching, dedicated to improving your running, they say: "Across two days of high-performance coaching and athlete education, you will learn from industry-leading experts and leave equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to improve your running."
If the thought of training camps provoke visions of a retreat, you will be safe in the knowledge that organisers are certainly in-tune with runners’ needs and are aware that one of the key features of training is treating yourself.
Once you consider restaurants, hotels, and buses from very distant airports, travelling outwith the UK can often incur more of an expense than initially anticipated. If you want to unleash the rogue traveller in you, there is plenty scope to take part in some of the UK’s most understated and far less costly events.
Not for the faint hearted, the 21-mile Wasdale Horseshoe Fell Race (July) sees runners embark on a difficult run that begins in Brackenclose in the Lake District. The course takes in some of England’s highest peaks and includes tough technical climbs with a total ascent of 2,740m. Taking place in July, the event attracts around 250 competitors and has a pre-entry fee of £15 (2022).