Finding the motivation to go running is the key to putting on your trainers. Do you do it to lose weight? To keep fit? Because it's a habit (and a good one)?

Or is your motivation more to do with where running can take you that gives you pleasure? Not just pysically as in up a trail in the mountains or along a coast path but also mentally as in away from the crowds or out of stressful work life?

In this way, literally and metaphorically, running can take you places that uplift the mind as well as the soul. For a month, I am in Tarifa in southern Spain where golden beaches stretch for miles and rugged hills rise up behind. As well as creating stunning scenery to run in, this landscape also causes two strong winds that come from opposite directions, one or other blowing most days. So there's nearly always the challenge of running into a stiff breeze as well as the joy of having it behind you.

There is no better way to explore new terrain than by putting on running shoes, a GPS watch and heading off. I've discovered dusty trails overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa, paced the cobbled streets of the charming old town of Tarifa and come acroos the most amazing idyllic beaches (main image) via an old military area beyond the stunning (and leg challenging) Las Dunas sand dunes. 

As the sign says: Diffiucult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations. That goes not only for tree -ooted and thornbush-lined paths leading to stunning secret beaches but also running itself on those days when it's windy or wet and you don't feel hitting the trail or training for that marathon. That's when the reward is the beautiful destination of achievement.


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  • The Run Diary Duo

    Elaine (Lainey) Deed, Mother

    Even when I was fashion director of Cosmopolitan, I was more often in Nikes than Manolos. I ran six marathons, numerous half marathons. Said ‘never again’. Then Siggy took up running – and I was off...

    Siggy Baylis, Daughter

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