Trail Running Inspiration
Written By: SportsShoes
Ready for adventure? From awesome trails to great reads and to local trail running clubs…here are some suggestions to inspire you to get into the great outdoors and hit the trails.
Where to Run
Whether it’s heather-clad moorland, loch side trails or through forests and mountain landscapes, the UK’s scenic trails are a runner’s dream. Here’s a selection of the UK’s greatest trails for runners…
1. The Cleveland Way, North York Moors
This 110 mile stretch of trail has something for everyone, from its dramatic coastline, to heathery moorlands and ancient castles. This beautiful trail starts from Helmsley and runs across the stunning North York Moors to the coast at Saltburn and on to Filey, giving runners of all abilities some great and varied trail options.
2. Derwent Water, Lake District National Park
If dramatic scenery is your thing, you’ll love the tranquil trails of Derwent Water, taking in panoramic views of Skiddaw, Blencathra and the northern fells. Derwent Water is home to the annual Derwent Water 10K, a circuit starting from Keswick along scenic bridleways, with a festival atmosphere at the finish. Expect some tough climbs, but you’ll be rewarded with incredible views.
3. Queen Elizabeth Park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
The 50,000 acre Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, stretching from the eastern shore of Loch Lomond to Strathyre encompasses mountains, moorlands, tranquil lochs and amazing forest trails. Gentle mountain ascents and well defined tracks and trails make for stunning scenery and plenty of wildlife…all in a peaceful and quiet setting. What more could a trail runner ask for?
Feeling inspired? The National Parks UK website lists 25 stunning trail running routes across the UK for runners of all abilities.
Join the Community
The trail running community is known for its great camaraderie and laid back, friendly culture. Here’s how to get involved:
The Trail Running Association promotes trail running across the UK and issues permits for UK trail races. Membership of the TRA costs only £10 and keeps you up to date with trail running news and events, and members are entitled to reduced trail race entry fees.
The Fell Runners Association was formed in the 1970s to look after the needs of fell runners. It has a prolific race and events calendar, three times yearly magazine, championships and annual dinner and awards. Its online forum is also pretty useful for advice from fellow runners.
Find a Club Near You
Most running clubs will incorporate trail running into their weekly training sessions, but clubs which are specific to fell and trail running are also springing up across the country as off road running grows in popularity. Running clubs are great for advice, getting to know different routes and mixing with like-minded people. Click here to find a club near you.
Find a Trail or Fell Race
Set in stunning scenery, trail events are usually laid back, with a fun and friendly atmosphere and often a little bit quirky. They can also be part of wider mountain festivals which means a great atmosphere and a fun family day out. Click here for a list of UK trail events.
3 Great Reads for Trail Runners
Get informed and inspired with these great reads for trail runners:
1. Run or Die by Kilian Jornet is the awe-inspiring autobiography of the world’s greatest ultra runner, delivering a fascinating insight into his intense passion for the sport, love of the mountains and world record breaking accomplishments. Prepare to be seriously inspired.
2. Wild Running by Jen Benson is the UK’s first guidebook for trail runners, featuring 150 hand-picked runs, encompassing mountains, forests and coastal trails, and including route maps and directions with GPX downloads. A must-have for any adventurous trail runner who loves to explore.
3. An Introduction to Trail and Fell Running by Kevin Shevels is an easy guide for runners who are new to the world of trail running, with invaluable advice on technique, training and kit on the trails and fells. A great source of reference for trail beginners.