Ladies - winter running: I know winter's over... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
105,576 members136,381 posts

Ladies - winter running


I know winter's over, but I've not been on here in a while. Just wondered what you've all been doing to keep up with the running when the days are shorter? Have you been running during the day or have you been brave and gone out in the dark? I run alone so have been reluctant to do this (not much opportunity to run during the day) so my regular runs have taken a real hit. I'll be back into it when the clocks go forward as I can run in the evenings again but I don't want to face the same problem when winter rolls around again. Join a gym just for the running machines, perhaps?

11 Replies

Perosnally I don't mind the winter. Gettin out for a run around 5/5:30am is the only time I have available, and joining a gym would (for me anyway) entail a lot of hassle such as having to wait until they are open, travel time there and travel time back, plus trying to fit in all the other things I have to do in my day around it. It is possible to buy some inexpensive good waterproofs - I find that in winter, it is the wind, more than rain or snow that I struggle with. But that is just me. I appreciate winter running isn't for everyone.

You may find that joining a gym during the winter months is the best option for you because of not having to run in the cold/wet/dark and for personal security reasons as well. It's about then finding a routine that works for you. If you do decide to join, then think about the additional facilities that a gym can offer, such as the use of cross-training machines such as steppers/cross-trainers/rowing machines and using the weights and free weights to help build your overall strength. It's also worth finding out about classes the gym offers such as Spin classes, Aerobics, Pilates and Yoga, which can help you cross train. If the gym has a swimming pool too then even better. Don't just think of it as a place to run, but a place to help develop your overall fitness.

I ran through the winter in the early mornings at 5.30am. Not too bad. Just ran round the block near where I live. Kept to lit roads and pavements. Weekends did a run in local parks/fields. When icy ran on verges. I just made sure I had plenty of layers on. I do have a gym not far from my home but they don't open until 8 oclock and even later on weekends so it doesn't fit with my hectic lifestyle with a toddler. Depends on what fits with you. One thing that gyms offer though is variety. So you can do different workouts. I personally don't like gyms. I like to be outside. Gyms can be unhygenic, you can catch all sorts of colds from other gym users and even from teh equipment. The cool air conditioning recycled. Just my opionion though. So pro's and con's really.


Thank you both. I'm not a keen gym user either and much prefer running outside. Trouble is that I live in quite a rural area (about 20 mins from the nearest gym) and running on the roads can be dangerous at the best of times as cars drive so fast and there are no pavements. I also don't like running on my own along the lanes in the dark as I just don't feel safe. Early mornings could be an option as you've both suggested but it's still so dark. What to do....

in reply to Birdie74

As an aside - I live in a rural area too, so sympathise about the running in the dark on your own. It's really about finding a compromise you are happy with. I'm lucky that I have my OH. I have mapped out all my routes and tell him which one I will be running [perhaps you have a friend you could tell?]. I'm also kitted out with a Hi-Vis vest. I've sewn flashing bike lamps into a belt which I wear round my waist and have a headlamp for when it it really dark. I also keep my mobile phone with me and only run with one headphone in so that I can hear any traffic coming.

If these are not options that work for you, or you don't have time to run later in the day when it is lighter, then it may be that the gym is a better compromise from a personal safety point of view. As I said above though, it's basically a very expensive way of running unless you would use the other facilities available too, which is definately a huge plus point to consider. We keep getting posts on this forum from people who have injured themselves from not resting or because they need to improve their muscle strength by cross training, so think of it as a way to improve your running ability overall.


All really good suggestions tanyag, thank you! My husband runs at night and always tells me his route and uses all the lights, etc. so I guess I could just borrow his stuff and give it a go. I definitely prefer the idea of getting up early to run rather than going at night - don't know why I hadn't thought to give that a go before.


I run in the dark and in the cold weather and you soon warm up so you're toasty. I usually keep a hat on though! If it's dark I run round town. During the day I run town or trails. If you have a car birdie you can drive to a better location if needs be. Changing locations does keep you refreshed and more interested. I joined a running group in winter too and that helped with running in the dark as I was no longer alone. You'll work something out if you want to keep running. Good luck with it


Thanks misswobble. It's not the cold that bothers me so much as the safety of it all. There's a running club in our nearest town that I might join anyway as it sounds quite good. Only reason I haven't gone before is that I have two small children and their bedtime clashes with the running meets but I'll figure it out. Thanks for your tips.


I have run over this winter, but some of the weather conditions mean I can't run 3 times per week. Most of my runs are when its light but I have run a few evenings alone and never been worried about my safety as I usually see more runners post working hours than during the day. I understand it might affect you running in the dark if you live in the countryside. I think your going to feel a lot better once the clocks change too.

I joined a gym to try indoor running and could not get on very well on the treadmill.

I am lucky to have a running track near me which you can use on certain evenings when they local athletic team meet and this is great for me too as its flood lit. Though I don't really enjoy going round and round the track.


I've spent a lot of time running at weekends as I work full time, and i have ventured out with a head torch but my running has definitely dipped, but there is no excuse now...hooray!!! Get out there before it gets too hoot, gym's are so boring...I am guessing because I have never been in one!!


I had this dilemma last October and decided to join a gym for the winter months, but kept up doing a run in daylight at the weekends (I also work full time). Although this did sort of work, I found that I hated the gym and running on a dreadmill did not suit. Ultimately my running suffered.

Thankfully I am now able to run after work, gym membership has been cancelled and I won't be rejoining next winter. I intend to either join a running group or take my chances alone on some well lit roads.

I took to the gym this winter as I live in a rural area where it's pretty dark, I run alone (didn't have much time during the day to run) and it's mainly country roads with no pavements. Have to say it took me a while to get used to the treadmill but quite enjoyed it. It helps that it's quite a 'non-poser' type gym - all ages, all abilities, and I enjoyed the social gossip side (I get bored running on my own around my village). But now lighter nights are here I'm back outdoors and find I'm going much faster, but may still intersperse it with treadmill running - it's a good way of getting into a pace. Gyms aren't for everyone - the one I joined is quite cheap and is heavily subsidised by the local council.

You may also like...