Marathon Monday: Winter Running
Yes, it’s back – again intermittently, I can’t bore you completely waffling on about running (well, I could, but where’s the fun in that?).
As you may have noticed, the weather has turned a little, er, challenging. Welcome to winter training – oddly a time of year that I love. I run better in the cold that I do hot weather and yes, I could do without the downpours and wind chill factor, snow and ice, but this is the weather that makes you badass. First coined by the Velominati, The Rules apply as much to running as cycling (in their majority anyway), and to playing games such as rugby in bad weather. Here we come to rule number nine.
There are definite guidelines to follow for winter training, as not only will the weather be horrid, but you also have the darkness to contend with. Add darkness and bad weather to grumpy, post Christmas-do tired, or just plain bad drivers, and it can get a little dodgy out there. I wrote a post about winter running tips way back in 2013 and though my pictures are a little better now, the words are still just as relevant. Always wear reflective clothing, use lights if you need to and layer up.
But the hardest bit can actually be keeping going. It’s dark when you get up, dark when you run, dark when you get home and that bed can be so warm and comforting can’t it? You’re not just fighting that, but a bit of daylight deficiency, Christmas party season, and the pending sense of doom ahead of the January bank account deficit.
So again, I’m leaning on challenging myself, I know I’ve got the Canalathon ultra marathon to train for, but getting my arse in gear to train for a 50km run that seems to far away in March, isn’t going to be easy. So I’ve added in a second run, a shorter one, at the end of February, the Manchester Cancer Research UK Winter Run.
Along with Liverpool, and London, these charity runs have been created to help people like me keep our feet pounding the pavement in the colder, wetter, more miserable months. We’ll be taking in the city’s landmarks, and I’m told will involve bear hugs, a snow zone, and a ‘Snow Blast-Off’.
And have you seen the race bling? Pretty.
By comparison to my ultra training, this will be a leisurely 10km. Yes it will be close to my final distance training run, but by then I’ll be running my big distances every other week, as my body needs longer to recover.
But that doesn’t make shorter runs any less important. It’s all about keeping going and every run you do builds your stamina for the next one. So I’ve registered and no matter what the weather, I’ll be layering up to go for a little trundle around the city. I’ll have spent three months concentrating on distance, so I’m not expecting a personal best by any stretch. I’m going to do it for fun.
More importantly, it’s an easy way to raise money for charity, which in the rush for gifts, parties and cocktails is easily forgotten.
And who isn’t going to feel sorry for you going out in weather like, well, have you seen it outside? It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, maybe ask them to donate the cost of their Christmas coffee for a day.
Maybe I’ll see you on the start line?