Let's take this inside

This is the time of year when running outside becomes increasingly difficult. Mornings are pitch black, evenings aren't much better and it's also cold and invariably wet. Even the hardest of the hardcore struggles to keep to their outdoor running schedule meaning there is no hope for the more fickle runner.

So do you settle for a winter of regular guilt-trips on the days you know you should go running but really can't face it? No. Join a gym for the few months that nature makes outdoor running near impossible.

You will really enjoy the change to your excersie routine and can take advantage of all the different pieces of equipment, using them to tone up your whole body and to do a bit of cross-training.
You can attend classes, use extra facilities like swimming pools and saunas and you may find that your friends and family are keen to exercise with you again now that you're not suggesting a two-hour run.

That's not to say you have to completely abandon outdoor running for the three or four months you belong to the gym, you can still go for a longer run outdoors on a Sunday. In fact if you've got a race coming up it is not a good idea to kick the outdoor running in altogether. You'll probably find that you enjoy doing that a lot more if you're only doing it once a week too.

So the winter doesn't have mean endless guilt-trips and the gain of a few extra kg. Use it as an opportunity to revitalise your fitness and your exercise regime.

Image by Kapungo

Labels: , , , ,


Go the extra mile

You know sometimes you get those days where you can barely run 3k without getting fed up? Often it's not that you can't do it but just something in you can't be bothered to. Well, I have good news for anyone who does get like that. There are days when you do better than you could have thought possible too.

I'm currently in training for my first half marathon, which takes place in just over a month now. I've done a couple of 10k races and had done up to 11k in training but still had a way to go to before I ran anywhere near 13 miles.

Last weekend though my training programme had me scheduled to do a 110 min run, and to be truthful I had put it off for a few weeks. This week I had to do it though. I carbed for a few days before, got my kit on and headed off, not really believing that I was about to do a run that was 55 minutes each way. It wasn't so long ago that the thought of a 55-min run was enough to make me sweat.

Well, I'm not going to pretend that it wasn't tiring but I did it. I did about 20k in total, which is quite a bit further than I've gone before. Do you know what the most surprising thing was though? I actually enjoyed it.

I ran along the Bath to Bristol cycle path which is beautiful and it was great to be able to take myself right out of the city and even half way to another one, whilst the boy was sleeping and having breakfast.

And the best thing is that I'm not worried about the upcoming half marathon anymore, but that I'm actually kind of looking forward to it.

So my message is this. If you have a big challenge ahead of you, you may be more prepared than you think, especially if it's in something your familiar with. One day get your best kit together, psych yourself up and have a practice run. I bet you'll surprise yourself too.

Labels: , , ,