We all know the benefits that practicing sports brings to our health, both physically and mentally. An extremely complete sport is running. Many experts consider it key to enjoying a long youth, and there are reasons to believe so. When you go running, you are strengthening your bones, your body is toned, your cardiovascular and respiratory systems are improving, your quality of sleep improves, your stress is reduced... and therefore, minimizes the risk of disease. If on a physical level it brings so many things, on a mental level it is a true wonder. When we run we are happier, since the level of endorphins and serotonin increases, the hormones of happiness. It helps us clear our head, it gives us a feeling of freedom... it's no coincidence that more and more people are signing up for this sport! In addition, it is a modality within everyone's reach, since it only requires comfortable shoes, and desire, of course!
Introducing running into our routine is a great way to improve our lives. Any space is good to practice it. Just put on some leggings, tie your shoes and go down to the street. If you are looking to clear your head, we recommend you try running in open spaces and even at early or very late hours. In fact, going for a run without hearing the noise of the cars and without constantly running into people is a great way to feel more freedom and distract yourself. Therefore, in today's article we will see which are the most amazing places in the world where you can feel this. And there we no longer talk about running. but trail running!
FROM RUNNING TO TRAIL RUNNING
If you don't usually run, we encourage you to try it. And not only that! We want you to go one step further. Have you ever dreamed of running in wild spaces? Dare to try trail running. What is trail running? As its own name indicates, it consists of running on trails, paths, forests. that is, running in the middle of nature. Unlike ordinary running, which is practiced on asphalt, in trail running you run between fields, mud, and even snow, amid ascents and descents. This modality goes beyond physical effort . It gives us a much wilder feeling, you enjoy the sun, you feel in harmony with nature, it is a way to escape from the world and connect with the earth. In short, running in the middle of such a natural environment makes you connect with your innermost “I” and forget about everything. It is a real joy.
IS A SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR THE TRAIL?
Surely you are already thinking about your next nature destination to go running. Before launching yourself, it is important that you know that for this modality of running, it is essential to take into account some aspects:
- Optical protection
One of the fundamental elements that, for better or worse, we will face when doing trail running will be the sun, since practicing it at night can be dangerous: let's not forget that these are wild areas and of a nature in which losing orientation can be easier than we think. In
- Sports shoes with greater grip
For the trail, it will be important to change the footwear that we usually use to run on asphalt for another more suitable one. The ideal is to have good shoes that adapt to the space in which we are going to run. Trail running shoes, unlike the most common running shoes, have studs on the sole that provide us with better grip on normally slippery and uneven surfaces. They must also provide comfortable cushioning and suspension, thus achieving greater stability. You have to find ones with which you feel completely comfortable and adapt well to your foot shape.
- Comfortable clothing according to the temperature
As for clothing, it is important to choose garments that give us comfort while running, but without forgetting the possible external factors that can occur in that environment. We are in the middle of nature, so we must take into account the possibility of a sudden change in weather in the middle of an outing, both extreme cold and heat, the presence of snow, rain, etc. Therefore, it will always be advisable to bring a windbreaker, thermal shirt, spare tights.
Of course, also bring a backpack that includes water, energy bars, a rash cream, thermal blanket... as well as whistle or locator, since in such areas wild there is usually no coverage and in case of loss it will be vital for us. Likewise, we advise you to always carry your mobile with you, so that in the event of an accident or blow, you can ask for help quickly.
THE MOST AMAZING PLACES IN THE WORLD TO TRAIL
Surely, closer than you think there are places you don't know, incredible areas that are waiting for you to do a trail. Depending on what you are looking for, your tolerance for extreme temperatures, if you like ascents and descents, if you want to do it alone or, on the contrary, you enjoy more in company, you can choose one environment or another, depending on what best suits your needs. preferences.
To answer this question, we have chosen our favorite places in the world, based on our own experience and on the opinion of top level trail runners like Ida Sophie Hegemann, Andreu Simon... and we have made a compilation.
Get ready to discover places in the world where running is a unique and completely wild experience. Grab paper and pen!
1. MONT-BLANC, FRANCE
Located in the French commune of Chamonix, on the border of France, Italy and Switzerland, it is a spectacular place for running. It is the highest peak in the Alps. So spectacular that it is the setting chosen for the celebration of the Ultra-Trail de Mont-Blanc each year, considered the most prestigious trail running race in the world. You will be speechless when observing its landscapes. We recommend going in the summer months. The starting point of all routes can be reached by public transport, and these are our five favourites, of varying difficulty:
- Route from the Aguille du Midi station to the tail of the Mercurio de Grace Glacier. 6.97 km route with a positive difference of 269m and a negative difference of 642m.
- Route from Les Praz-de-Chamonix station to Chamonix: 10.2km long, at an average speed of 9km/h and with a positive and negative difference of 60m.
- Circular route from Les Houches station: about 15km away with a positive and negative drop of 80m.
- La Cote circular route. It starts at the Plaine Joux bus station, goes through Refuge Le Châtelet d'Ayères and 3km later ends at the station again. They are a total of 28 km with a positive and negative difference of 1720m.
- Route Refuge de La Flégère - Chalet La Floria. Start at the train station, go through the Petit Lac, Refuge de la Flégère. Chalet La Floria, Montée versioned Chalet de La Floria and concludes at the station again. They are about 26 km long, 6.2 km/h average speed and with a positive and negative difference of about 1990 m. Both for this and the previous one, you need to be in very good physical shape and have experience in the mountains.
2. SAHARA DESERT, AFRICA
Everyone who has run in this environment agrees that it is a magical place, in addition to the fact that it ends up repeating itself. Chance? We don't think so. Running in complete silence, away from everything and in the middle of a huge desert, surrounded by sand, is undoubtedly an experience that must be lived at least once. Will not leave you indifferent. The Desert Run is held every year in this setting, a stage race for fans of running and nature.It has three stages, one of 15km, another of 21, and the last of 26. It takes place in October, with the best temperature of the year. There are trips from Madrid and Barcelona, and to sign up you just have to sign up on their website.
3. THE JUNGLE OF COSTA RICA
One of our favorite routes is The Coastal Challenge, in Costa Rica. A completely different experience. Starting at Playa del Rey, in the Manuel Antonio National Park, and ending at Bahía Drake, on the Osa Peninsula. It offers two modalities depending on the level of each one, which makes it a perfect place whether you are starting out in running or if you are an expert. The route is a true marvel, and the landscapes cannot be more spectacular. You will run between waterfalls, beaches and you will even see animals typical of the region such as frogs, monkeys, snakes...
4. THE GRAND CANYON, USAUU
If you want to travel long distances in an impressive place, look no further, this is your place. Of course, if you are afraid of heights we do not recommend it. As you can imagine, it is located on the edge of precipices, in addition to going through a number of ascents and descents. This race, known as Rim to Rim to Rim, is clearly among the most demanding trail running races on the international scene. A mandatory stop if you are a fan of off-road running.
5. CARROS DE FOC, SPAIN
You don't have to go that far to find a place to run free. In fact, here in Spain we have several enclaves that have nothing to envy other countries. In the Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes y l'Estany de Sant Maurici in Catalonia there is a route to run at an altitude of 2400 m. The Carros route is circularr and its 65 km and 9200 unevenness make it a very special place.
6. CHARTREUSE TERMINORUM, FRANCE
This location is home to the 300km ultramarathon which starts and ends in Saint Pierre de Chartreuse. The runner Benoit Laval was inspired by the famous Barkley marathon, the toughest endurance event to date: 160 km with 20,000 meters of elevation gain, in a maximum of 60 hours. After participating in it, he wanted to bring a similar test to Europe. This race is characterized by something very special, since it is held in a forest and the runners have to find hidden books inside the trees, helped by a compass and a map .
7. INCA TRAIL, MACHU PICCHU, PERU
It is one of the best routes in the world. The runners run from Cuzco to the city of Machu Picchu. It is an intense and difficult route, which covers 42 km, and reaches a height of 4224 meters, specifically in the "Abra Warmihuañusca". The entrance is very controlled, so if you decide to run it you will have to book in advance.A wonderful option to get the best views of one of the wonders of the world.
And so far our seven most amazing places to practice trail running. Now that you know them, you'll want to pack your suitcase right away, we know. If you dare to try them, don't hesitate to tell us!