Trail running as a meditation practice with Alvaro

From the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote to the verdant slopes of the sierras outside Madrid, Alvaro finds trail running in the mountains vital to his physical and mental wellness. Based in a big city like Madrid, a regular dose of nature is what keeps him sane in his busy city life. 

Despite living in a city of over 6 million people, Alvaro can be in the hills in under an hour. One of his favorite komoot Highlights, Presa del Gasco, is just such a place. Northwest of Madrid, Alvaro describes Presa del Gasco as “an amazing place in an unexpected location.” What’s amazing about it? The site is an unfinished engineering project  – a dam wall dug into a valley. The result is a lovely trail with some pretty marvelous views down to the river below and out across the shrub-covered hills.

As a father, Alvaro loves spending time with his family, but he says it’s also important to get some alone-time. That is why he enjoys solo adventures:

Getting outside and exploring is the way I meditate, so I usually run solo. I really enjoy this time with myself.” 

While his emphasis on getting outside mostly has to do with keeping his mind and body healthy, he also enjoys a good challenge which pushes him out of his comfort zone. One of his favorite komoot Tours is also one of the most difficult routes he’s ever undertaken – a tough trail in the Pyrenees. The Vuelta al pico Cerler is a roughly 18-mile (30-kilometer) route with an elevation gain of over 3200 feet (1000 meters). 

Running the Vuelta al pico Cerler has been the most beautiful and challenging experience that I have had in the mountains.

Another komoot Tour that Alvaro loves is Hacha Grande, a route that allowed him to truly enjoy the volcanic landscape that Lanzarote is known for. “I love Lanzarote because it is different from anything I’ve seen before. Ascending a volcanic mountain and enjoying the ocean views from the top is a unique experience.”

Alvaro loves komoot precisely because it helps him to enjoy places like these, by being prepared so he when he gets out there all he has to do is run: “Komoot gives me a feeling of control, that no matter what happens I’ll be able to find my way back. I also love planning my runs in the app, learning about what I can expect on the trail: unevenness, way types, and surfaces.

He’s come to trust komoot so much that sometimes he goes “off-piste” just to see what happens: “Sometimes I like to leave the planned route and see how komoot recalculates, it is amazing.” It is yet to let him down.

To get more inspiration for running and hiking trails, follow Alvaro on komoot.