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Running the Coast Path

One of my favourite things is running along high cliff top coastal footpaths or along sandy beaches next to raging surf. I live just a few miles inland from the South West Coast Path and it's always nice to pop down for a run in the refreshing sea air. The path here is not for the faint hearted as the climbs and descents are pretty extreme. When you reach the top the views are always worth the effort and I especially love running here really early in the morning when the sun is coming up.

I recently led a group run from Salcombe Hill, on the eastern side of Sidmouth, along the coast to Weston Mouth. This short film captures a little of our run together. It's a bit shaky as it was filmed by one of the runners on their GoPro.

Check out the route on my Strava

Strava map of the route:

Start and finish point: Salcombe Hill carpark opposite the Norman Lockyer Observatory.

The coastline here is known at the Jurassic Coast, a world heritage site. It's one of my favourite stretches of coast in Devon and if you don't mind hills it's a great place for a run. It's not the sort of place you can regularly use for faster paced runs, it's more suited to a rambling style run where you can immerse yourself in your surroundings whilst still getting a challenging workout. If you do push the pace it's a quad burning lung buster that wouldn't disappoint any fell runner. I normally head inland at Weston and loop back but this run was an out and back so we could enjoy the sea views all over again!

Photos © 2018 James Carnigie. @jamescarnigie

One of the things that helps keep me motivated is heading out for a run in beautiful scenery. Although I primarily race on the track and road, during my training I love to run on trails. I love getting away from it all and using my running to really appreciate my surroundings. I also like the softer surfaces for injury prevention. The uneven terrain is also great for conditioning and avoiding repetitive type overuse injuries from running on hard flat even surfaces all the time. The hills really toughen you up and the views and fresh air are mentally stimulating. In mid winter you can be cold, wet and tired at the end of a hard run but you can't wait to come back and do it all over again!

The steep climb up from Salcombe Mouth. Photo © 2018 James Carnigie. @jamescarnigie

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