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Is it too cold and dark for me to start this outside?

A few months back I nearly completed couch to 5k on the treadmill, and then when I tried to run outside I realised I could only do a few minutes without stopping. I was really upset because I doing 25mins easily on the treadmill and felt like I had achieved nothing because running outside was always my end goal and to complete a 5k. So typically my answer was to give up. Now I want to start it again but do it outside and im wondering if now is not the best time to start. Its dark when I wake up and dark when I finish work, and I live in the north of England so its pretty much freezing cold all the time!

8 Replies

The dark nights and cold does sap motivation, but if you invest in some decent clothing it goes a long way to improve things. I learnt this cycling several years back and invested in cycling kit; I might have looked like a gimp with a cycling bib on, but I was a warm gimp!

I also find after ten minutes running I've warmed up sufficiently.

The mental battle is the hardest to beat sometimes, I'm just tough on myself and force myself out there. Try and find somewhere which is well lit to run this may help you.

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I started in the heat of summer and that was also draining. I doubt if there really is a 'best' time to start season wise. It's more of when you have really got into the right mindset to stick at it. I have just bought myself a compression top and running top in Aldi's special offer and feel very cosy in the cold winds. (I too live up north!)

Donk is right - you warm up very quickly once you are outside running. Take care to run in well lit areas and be sure to have something reflective on your outer garments.

I hope you manaqe to make a start because you will gain so much benefit in many ways!

Keep coming back to this blog site for support and inspiration. We all understand the problems people are facing and will encourage you! GOOD LUCK!


I started this programme in the dark back in February. I must have looked a strange sight and I'm mildly surprised I was never picked up by the police as I was wearing black leggings, black trackie-type top, black woolly hat, dark blue thick gloves (would have looked black in the dark), and a buff covering as much of my face as I could! But actually I found the cold quite invigorating.

My concern at the moment is being really cold during the 5 minute warm-up walk and a comfortable temperature once into my run. It's not too cold at the moment but as winter approaches and the temperature drops I'm not sure how I'll manage. I can't remember who but I think someone once posted that they did their route so as to run past their house soon after finishing the warm-up where they were able to throw a top over the fence or something! Might try that technique at some point.

Good luck!


I didn't like the thought of running in the dark initially but now I enjoy it and find I actually seem to run better. I always run where there's street lights and usually whilst listening to my Zombies Run! app, which is much more atmospheric when it's dark! ;-)

Just make sure you are adequately dressed (layers are best) and clearly visible. I mostly run the same route at night (due to lack of choice) but find it is less boring than if I run the same route during the day time. I think there's more incentive to give up and walk during the day whereas at night you just want to get on with it and get home. Give it a try and let us know how you get on. :-)

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I do exactly the same, Legion! It was my first dark run last night since the early days on the programme and was incentivised to get round my route (which is always the same) as quickly as I could. I also listen to Zombies Run!


Having just started over on c25k with Laura I'm wondering when I'll next get to listen to more Zombies Run! I may have to sneak in an extra run each week just so I can get my zombies fix. ;-)


Thank you all for the replies! You have made me realise that I have no excuse and just need to get out there! I go so red and sweaty when I run so maybe running in the cold is preferable for me! I am going to give it a go and let yous know all about it :-)


Nearly bottled this afternoon's run, because of the heavy rain, but put my cap, long sleeves and log leggings on and it wasn't that bad. Warmed up nicely and barely noticed the rain.


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