Falling in love with a Sunrise Run
I write having just finished my latest Sunrise Run, which on this occasion took place along La Croisette in Cannes. These runs may not always take place right at the start of sunrise but I try to get up early enough to incorporate some of it during my morning fitness routine.
I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate it because I am not a natural or light-footed runner and therefore find every single step a struggle and the mental battle to persevere is a constant challenge. I love it because I really enjoy living life to the full and sampling delicious food and wine, so running means that I can work up an appetite and counter indulgences. I also think it is important to try to stay as fit as possible and this type of exercise has plenty of known health benefits.
This year I have tried to enjoy running more and reduce the hate part of the relationship, which I didn’t think was possible. This is why I started my Sunrise Run habit and Instagrammers will know that I have posted several pictures documenting my early runs (you can follow my journey at @The_Sloaney).
It has been a particularly interesting year because I have been travelling regularly and explored lots of different settings. My trainers have become an essential item in my luggage and one of the greatest things about running is that you can do it anywhere in the world. Many of the hotels I have visited recently boast impressive gyms but I find that pounding the treadmill or sitting in a weights room is pretty anonymous and every facility looks the same.
When you go for a run you get to explore different routes and admire the local scenery. This year I have seen the dramatic clifftops of the Algarve glow in the morning sunshine, joined the birds on their first flutter across the vineyards of Burgundy and raced the rush hour traffic in Toronto. There have been many other highlights too and probably none quite so memorable as seeing the sun rise while jogging along Niagara Falls.
Many of the sights and glimpses of nature at this time of day prove empowering and great motivation for the day ahead. Closer to home I have watched baby rabbits dart through the English countryside and often seen the silhouette of champion rowing teams training on the Thames.
I have also quickly learnt that there is a whole community that partake in a ‘Sunrise Run’ and enjoy sharing the dawn secrets of our beautiful planet. I thought I would be in the minority by getting up at the crack of dawn for a jog but I am often joined by a host of fellow runners. Even though everyone is in their own little world with separate fitness goals and trudging along at their preferred pace, you experience a great sense of unity.
I don’t necessarily like hearing my alarm go off in the early hours of the day, but I now resist hitting the snooze button. If I can get out of bed at this time, anyone can and it is well worth getting used to such a routine, which you can continue when on holiday or travelling with work. It is a special part of the day and my Sunrise Run regime has definitely helped to reduce the hate element in my relationship with running.