Running in the French countryside

November 8, 2014 by
Filed under: France, Living in Rural France 

Running on the forest trails in the French countryside

We are very lucky in that when we bought Mas de flory (our cycling base) we thought it was good that we backed onto a forest. We didn’t actually realise how lucky we were. The forest has ancient tracks crisscrossing all over and has lots of deer tracks.

There is a proper marked trail that used to be a route leading to the main St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrim trail, but it’s since been rerouted two kilometres further west. It’s now downgraded to a local route.

I’ve been running throughout the forest since we moved here some none years ago and can say I have only just discovered all the trails. Mind you that includes all the overgrown routes from the ancient horse and cart routes from the seventeenth century. The forest is relatively new consisting of mainly oak with some chestnuts but until the late eighteen eighties it was mostly grape vines. Then disease hit and the trees self-generated to what they are now and thus some paths and old trails became overgrown.

Anyway I’m supposed to be running!
I normally run first thing in the morning with our two dogs Flossie and Jessie who get really excited when I have my running gear on. I run between twenty and forty five minutes and only run longer in the summer whilst waiting for biking guests to arrive at the end of their ride. Just once in a while I’ll do a long run of about an hour and a half but I find the dogs get confused and tired out.
I didn’t realise that humans can outrun all other animals, I just thought I was super fit and my dogs weren’t. I’ve since read how hunters used to run down animals until they were exhausted in the book:

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel E. Lieberman.

Running barefoot is natural!

Running barefoot is natural!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also changed my running style and bought “barefoot” shoes, these have zero drop heels and wide toe to allow your foot to spread and grip naturally and I now run mostly using my toes and not my heels. I also now wear these type of shoes during the day as well as they just seem more comfortable and natural. Why wear shoes with a heel?

Try reading:
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall for a full explanation and also a gripping true story of natural barefoot runners.

Born to run barefoot?

Born to run barefoot?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The French countryside around us is really peaceful and I have only ever once, in the last nine years bumped into anyone else in the forest on my morning runs. Perhaps another run tomorrow?

Running in the French countryside

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