Is your running stuck in a rut? Are you struggling to get out and train consistently? Lack of motivation can be a problem to all runners but a custom-designed running holiday in Andalucia could be just the boost you need.
Running holiday and fitness experts Ultra Trail Spain share their top ten reasons for hitting the trails in southern Spain...
1. Fair weather
Sunshine has to top the list of reasons why running in Spain is great. Granada, in southern Spain, averages 2,935 hours a year, in contrast London, UK averages just 1,460 hours. Spending time in the sun boosts your vitamin D levels which improves bones density, amongst other benefits.
2. Mud-free running
Going hand in hand with sunshine, there's a distinct lack of mud in Andalucia, which makes off-road running a pleasant experience. It's easier to negotiate tricky technical trail plus, as your feet stay dry, you're much less likely to suffer from debilitating blisters.
3. Stunning views
The vistas of Andalucia are truly epic with high mountains, seas of olive groves, blue skies, and whitewashed fincas dotted over the landscape. Research shows walking and running in natural surroundings improves your sense of wellbeing.
Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe. Run-walking tough ascents makes your muscles stronger, improves your cardiovascular system, stimulates weight loss and is good fun. Plus, as you're moving steadier there's less impact issues associated with fast running.
5. You'll leave fitter
And being a mountainous country, it's not difficult to train at moderate altitude in Spain, particularly southern Spain. Running at just 1,000m will seriously improve your fitness. This is not high enough to risk altitude sickness but will make your heart pump and lungs work for less effort than you'd have to exert at low levels.
With endless miles of trails and tracks to explore it's easy to lose yourself in the countryside. Research shows humans make the best choices while walking and running slowly in peaceful surroundings. Got a difficult decision to make? Come running with us.
Trails range from tricky single track mountain routes, to free-running jeep tracks, to undulating pine forest routes. There's something for every runner, and the variety of surfaces means you're less likely to suffer from overuse injuries.
8. Positive support
Spain loves running. Everyone is keen to wish you well and if you do decide to tackle a race you're sure to be cheered along. It's an unwritten rule you must congratulate the runner directly ahead of you and right behind you on crossing the finish line.
9. Motivational surroundings
Running the same old routes can make it difficult to stay motivated. Humans are born explorers. Research proves running over fresh terrain can help you find your lost mojo and improve the quality of your training.
Okay so tapas probably isn't the healthiest option, but refuelling fast – within 20 minutes – of completing a challenging run is vital to ensure optimal recovery. Bars in rural inland Andalucia are famed for their free tapas which makes the local bar a great place to end a tough run.
Ultra Trail Spain running holidays creates bespoke trail and road running holidays around the town of Moclín, Andalucia, in the mountains of southern Spain. We specialise in personalised run training, putting together running holiday adventures for individuals and small groups.
Ultra Trail Spain also hosts dedicated running performance training camps to help you to improve your race results.