I’m back to blogging. The last couple of months have been very quiet on the writing front, but thankfully not on the running front. I’ve been suffering from an almost non-existent internet connection for the last two months, but fingers crossed all is finally fixed.
Winter running season is here and I must admit I haven’t been the most enthusiastic about getting out in the dark or the cold miserable weather. I struggle with winter. It’s the darkness. Waking up in the morning is a struggle and leaving work when it is dark is rubbish. Energy levels drop and the winter illnesses go round and round the office. It isn’t all bad though. I love a crisp winter’s day, a morning frost, snow on the hilltops. Even being awake to see a sunrise is nice if it is a pretty one.
Last year I barely ran over the winter, especially in the run up to Christmas. Strava has 2 hours logged for November 2015 and 4 logged for December 2015. This year I’m doing a lot better for 15 hours for November and 7 so far for December. Partly because I’ve upped the mileage anyway this year but mainly because I’ve got a better winter months system in place.
Mix it up
I’ve been trying to mix up my training more over winter. Going out for a mid-week run in the dark after work never appeals at this time of year. My favourite routes become unsuitable. I dislike road running in the dark. I generally dislike road running but not going off road on my own in the dark. Pavements around here aren’t the best and tend to disappear or have cars parked on them meaning straying into the road on occasions. Plus crossing roads in the dark makes runs stressful. So I have mixed up my training with sessions, staying closer to home and doing more hill sprint sessions and interval runs.
Reflective running kit is our winter friend. My go to running tights have reflective dots down the sides and round the waist, and I tend to always run with my reflective waist bag. I could do better with the top half though and need to invest in more reflective long sleeve tops. Thankfully the cold doesn’t bother me as much. I rarely run with a hat or gloves but always have my packable running jacket in my bag.
Light up reflective arm bands are probably the best thing a friend has ever given me. I keep them in my running waist bag so I can be reflective and lit up at anytime. Useful if I haven’t worn my hi-vis I find myself running for longer than expected, and ending up in darkness (or even dusk). Head torches are useful to have in the bag too, although I’m not a fan of excessive head torch usage. I’ll get have it ready for an unlit or poorly lit road but generally won’t use it if there are streetlights.
Christmas lights have proved to be dark night motivator for December. My spirits were lifted whilst pounding the pavements on a very wet, dark evening, by the sight of twinkling Christmas lights on decorating houses. We took the festive spirit one step further this week at running club with a Christmas lights run. Our route took us round local villages to see the fantastic Christmas lights. Everyone wore a santa hat too.