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Running in the cold & dark - advice please!

Hi all

Well, after my C25K graduation a few weeks ago, I'm still going and this is my first post on this forum. I'm on week 13 now and did my first ParkRun on Saturday! I was really nervous as it was the first time I'd run with people and the first time I'd run an unfamiliar course (I was 200 miles away from home) but I did it in 32.09 and was delighted with myself.

I've just been out for my evening run and I'm really struggling running in the dark - I just can't seem to find any motivation and every step seems like a slog! With my work schedule and the increasingly early dark nights I can't really avoid a night run or 2 a week so any advice that you have on how I can make it a little more pleasant would be much appreciated. I have a head torch and am sufficiently wrapped up but it's just miserable - there are no street lights where I live or run; I'm considering getting in the car and driving to the local town but that defeats the object to me!

I also struggle with my breathing much more when I'm running in the cold so any advice on this point too would be much appreciated.

Happy running!

10 Replies

I have almost no qualms at all about getting somewhere I *want* to run (in fact the only time I haven't got in the car first has been when the roads have been unsafe to drive on). If it was a pool or a squash court you were lacking on your doorstep and those were your thing, you'd go where they were... Just a thought!


Drive to the town! The running is rubbish from my house, but there are beautiful bridle ways and tracks a few miles away so I nearly always drive somewhere to run.


I know what you mean. Get in from work, get changed and get out again. Don't sit down. Don't make a cup of tea. (You may drink a glass of water.) Don't start chatting to husband/wife/kids/dogs/cats. Once my bum is parked (unless it's to put trainers on) it's fatal.

I use a chest torch (Decathlon, £29.99) - so much more comfy than a head torch and lights the path better.

Grab Michael and off you go. I still use him on longer runs, I know he will just disappear towards the end...


Head torch great :) High viz too... make sure your gear is really warm... a Buff is essential too... warm up the air, breathe easier....what is making it miserable for you?

I ran dark early mornings... okay, not after a days' work..but dark...take good music.. plan a treat for when you get in... hot shower.. glass of or cup of... ?


A buff worn over your mouth will help warm the air before it hits your lungs and should help you. Buffs (Google if you're not familiar with them) are very versatile- neck warmer, snood, hat/ear warmers wrap around you wrist when not needed - and also a great nose wipe 😀


I wasn’t enjoying running locally and now always hop in the car. If I hadn’t changed location I would probably have given up by now. Well done on your parkrun.

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Accept you will go slower... get some really thumpy loud music going and perhaps try a new route... It CAN be fun but you need to go and find it :)

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Get in the car then. Do whatever it takes! 😃🏃‍♀️👍✔️ It’s dark and chilly for all of us. What don’t kill ya 😃

Come on!💪 😃


In the winter I drive to my almost nearest town (Thatcham) where there is an off-road (pedestrian path & cycle track) and pavement, fully street-lit, 10km circuit. It is very, very popular with runners and must have been designed exactly for this purpose. It is often a Monday night, and I drop Padawan #2 (see note) off at Explorer scouts, then go for a run.


A Padawan, also known as a Padawan learner or Apprentice, referred to a Force-sensitive adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a full-fledged Jedi. ... After reaching a certain age, Padawans were normally apprenticed to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, beginning their one-on-one training.


Is there a local running group you can join perhaps?


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