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Couch to 5K
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Why we run in wet, dark and cold

Water is good for your skin, darkness makes you invisible and cold preserves you, are some of the reasons why people go out no matter what. And run, no matter what!

I warned some guys back in August when they complained about summer heat and told them that what’s following was winter cold, and look at it now.

Let’s just break this down. You may think that running out there while everyone is hiding in warm places is bad for you. It’s not. Your body will appreciate it, just leave your brain out, don’t listen to its negative messages, pleas and excuses. You boost your cardio, burn calories, stretch muscles, go places...get wet...

You think it’s difficult. Again, don’t think, this is not about thinking it’s about feeling great during running (very often) and afterwards (always). Don’t analyse, don’t compare, don’t delay, go and do it.

You think (there we go again) that there are not many good results coming out of winter running. Ok, trust me on this one too. Do this 3-4 times per week, get stronger, run longer and then after a year or two tell me there aren’t any good results.

I can hear the stubborn one over there who claims there’s not enough time in the week to squeeze all those runs in, especially in this darkness. Make time! Find it. I do it when travelling, working, when other people are sleeping, I set time and work around it.

Injury? Fix it and come back. Sulking is illegal here.

In other words, simply ask yourself what’s better. Feeling good, physically and mentally, being positive and proud or simply dropping back on the sofa, walking in circles and feeling sorry for yourself?

Everyone can do this, we are designed to do it, so put the shoes on and burn that rubber!

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Apparently running in the winter makes faster runners too... not that we’re overly concerned with pace.

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It’s easier to inhale cool air then gasp for oxygen in 30 plus temperatures. Cold can also make you speed up a bit especially if you’re feeling, well, cold. However, most of it is down to what you want to do and how you want to enjoy yourself. Mine this evening was just a slow 5K and l got soaked to the bones but there was something calming in that rain and lights in the puddles were beautiful. Fair enough, my meditation was broken at times when a car splashed me all over but, hey, it’s a small price to pay.

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I quite like running in the rain and don’t mind getting wet but I don’t like squelchy feet and always seem to go straight into the first puddle. I am sure my trainers have water magnets in them!

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Try deliberately aiming at puddles, that way you’ll avoid them all.

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Bloody drivers 😂

Sounds perfect. I do love the rain

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From their perspective my high viz frame was a must get target.

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Yep... I have to say that would be hard to resist from behind the wheel. Once I saw a girl running towards me, then saw the puddle, car in lane next to me, so I braked hard and somehow that just seemed to add to the wave I made. I was gonna get out and offer to help her out of her wet clothes, but I thought better of it.

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Wise move.

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Nothing worse than running in the heat! Give me rain and snow any day!

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Never, ever run in high humidity/heat during daytime sunshine. I mean, try and see what happens. That’s pre dawn and after dusk business only. Cold? Anytime. At least you’re guaranteed to get warm at some stage so what’s not to like?

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My worst run ever was the local 10k in 28 degrees. Horrific.

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At the next Olympics they are looking at starting the marathon really early in the day. You don’t mess with high Celsius and low oxygen. Even those guys. 28 in the sun overheats your body in no time.

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I saw an interview with Haile Gebrselassie once explaining why he had dropped out of the marathon due to the heat. He said he wouldn’t put his body through it and it would take him weeks to recover. So a mere mortal like me would have no chance.

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Well, he would at least recover. I would be carried in a body bag.

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I loved running in the summer, I hate being cold and thought I would hate going out in the rain and wind .... but I'm actually enjoying it.

I can't help but laugh when I turn a corner and the wind stops me in my tracks. I grin like an idiot when the rain is streaming down my face and my feet are squelching. What must I look like? Doesn't matter, no-one else is around to see me.

My name is Tartancat, and I am an addict.

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I’ve always hated winter until I started running! Now I appreciate it!

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Same here - it has its own unique charms!

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Maybe as I started c25k during the beast from the east last year 😂

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You’ve got all the right vibes there and then. It’s gains through fun!

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Plus, it’s fun! And training in harsh conditions better preps you for race-day, when weather surprises can sometimes pop up. You’ll be all like “Yeah, I’ve seen worse” and then you’ll smash it.

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And to think that some pity us thinking we are insane, eh? ;)

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Insane? Us? Why would anyone think that? Oh sorry, must go, the nurse tells me it's time to put my straitjacket back on

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Thank you for this post. I’m doing w5r2 very early tomorrow morning and was about to check the weather, at the moment it’s torrential rain!! I won’t now I’ll just get up and go out regardless. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

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Way to go!

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Do it! I love rainy running!

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Hoorah, another convert!!

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Yeah I enjoy running when it’s lightly raining or cold/frosty, cools me down. Started on week 7 tonight & managed it 🏃‍♀️👍🏻

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Don’t forget to time it right and go straight into warm shower. If you get drenched in near freezing temperatures and stop running you could cool down more than you bargained for. I aim to run either straight into my home or in the car where l will have a dry jacket or a blanket. The moment you stop running your body temperature will be dropping fast. You want to be on top of that. ;)

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I’ve always managed my pace & breathing good. I have a warm bath after my runs 🏃‍♀️

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Great post my friend... and so, so true...thanks you... :) x

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You’re more than welcome, dear Oldfloss. The post was composed while running this evening. The mix of rain, lights, wind and cars splashing me, all added to a very comfy run! One of those where things work out.

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x

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Running on dark, cold winter mornings makes me feel like a super hero on an important life-saving mission. The rain is a special effect. 😁

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For many it’s unusual, against perceived ideas of comfort and common logic which prompts you to stay indoors and warm. I was galloping near your parish, around hilly parts of Crystal Palace!

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I’ve yet to run in hilly Crystal Palace, but it’s on my list of places to explore now I’m getting bolder! That and every Royal Park in London. Come rain or shine. 😁👍

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I ran a five k in the dark wet cold tonight.

I emigrated Northern Europe to be warm, dry and able to see.

Another fine mess I've gotten myself in 😂😂😂😂

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That reminds me of guy l knew, a construction worker who wanted fair weather so he emigrated to Australia.

He didn’t like assembling scaffolding in Melbourne heat so he moved to Canada. Now he’s having issues with Vancouver winters. Hahaha......oh dear, oh dear....

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Canada - WAY too cold in winter :)

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I have only ever run in the winter. I love the cold dark nights. I don’t fair so well on a slightly warmer daytime run. I’m hoping my fitness will improve before spring and summer arrives so I can cope a bit better.

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Nothing wrong with Summer (any weather really) as long as you come prepared. Hang in there and we’ll have similar conversations in a few months time. ;)

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I definitely achieve my best pace time when it's colder and wetter! I've always loved the rain. Not so much ice or snow though. Too worried of injury so tend to do fast walk instead.

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Good positive post mrrun! I dread the winter every year for all of the above reasons, I’d normally prefer to hibernate. However since taking up running I have really enjoyed the cold dark mornings. Still not loving the rain, but the feelings of satisfaction and achievement when I return from a run make it all worthwhile 😄🏃‍♀️

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That’s the whole point. Hibernation, unless you’re are a bear, does nothing good to your body and mind but it’s perfect for self loathing which might work for Woody Allen but we should focus on our own practicalities. Keep it up!

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And here was me thinking that I was crazy! I learned from being out all day fly fishing in all weathers. So long as you have the right clothing, and there is so much to choose from now, you can run outdoors in most UK weather conditions. Being a bit crazy helps though🤪 🚣‍♀️🏄‍♂️🏊‍♂️

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A long time ago l worked with a fisherman who simply set there rain or shine, fish or none and seemed very content. I thought there was some wiring issue in his head but now I’d like to get in touch with him to apologise and beg for forgiveness.

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To be clear, I am usually standing in backside deep running water, so a bit of wind and rain on top doesn’t really matter. But the guy sitting serenely on the bank? don’t worry mrrun.....he won’t care; he has found peace 😊

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❤️ I ran with the dog yesterday rather than just do walkies, and I jogged in all my normal clothes and a long coat for over a mile back to my car from Olympia horse show last night - and I wasn’t out of breath - it was a fantastic feeling! I’m starting to fear the cold wet and dark less now. Good Gym group runs have helped me enormously. Thanks MrRun 🤗

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It's little things as well, like talking to people while going upstairs fast (l do it on purpose). Seeing them lose their breath is heart warming.

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🤣 yes, the stairs hold no fear for me now!

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And my mummy always called me in from the rain so it's great to rebel

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Good post. I ran week 6 run 1 in the rain yesterday and loved it!

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The best stuff is still ahead of you!

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I logged on feeling sorry for myself and this was the first post I read. It is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you so much 😊

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No probs, l'm glad you like it. Before l started running l was often anything else but a bundle of laughs. Now l've got this weird perma grin.

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Glasses!! This the reason I hate running in rain. Hoods are ineffective when running into rain, and that’s if they stay up. The most effective solution has been a cheap plastic visor but I still often resort to holding glasses and hoping I don’t trip up over something I haven’t seen.

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I wear them and that's part of the reason why puddles look so magical. You can't see clearly. Like running clean but high.

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I wear them but stop every so often to clean them, a good excuse for a little rest...

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There was no way l could do it yesterday. I faced the wind and it carried the drops, so l just went on admiring those mad light contrasts on the wet ground.

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I dont often visit this one but saw this pop up in the news tab and i LOVE it... so so true. Lets make 2019 a year for running in the rain and no sulking :)

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I've only just started. On week four in my next run. Sometimes I think It's mad that I've started this journey in the cold and rain but then I think its gearing me up for tougher stuff.

What I'm more nervous about then the cold, is running in the heat. I think during summer I may have to start 6am runs or something to avoid the daytime heatwaves!

I like this post. Its encouraging to learn actually that running in the cold IS good for you.

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Don't worry about heat for now, we'll all cross that bridge when it happens and there will be lots of talk about headgear, hydration, correct stretching and such. You will be in fine shape by then! :)

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Excellent!! I'll keep an eye out for those discussions in the summer then!

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Mrrun you are so inspiring, I’ve been ill and should go to my running club tonight but was thinking of all sorts of excuses not to go, but your post has really made me want to go so thank you for that. You were totally right in everything you said and I feel it was fatethat your post came on today. Happy Christmas to you Mrrun.

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Well, I went out whatever the weather and it had stopped raining. It started again after I’d been back about 10 mins. I actually feel cheated 😂😂😂

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I’m sure you’ll get a few nice surprises down the line. Between now and, say, late April there will be some right belters. A few weeks back l waited, and waited. Then waited. It was coming down majestically. Then l thought, oh what the.... and went out. :)

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I was going to skip my run today! After having a whole week off running because of being unwell. I was feeling much better health wise but feeling super lazy mentally.

But then I read your post. Got up off the sofa, got my trainers on and off I went for my run. And I'm SO pleased I did :)

Thank you for this much needed push!

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Interesting, I’m on week 7 and have yet to run in daylight! Like running in the rain too, it makes me feel free! 🤗

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The point is, simply run. Day, night, shine or wet. Or hot. No difference at all. You want to do it, you come prepared, the weather will just be the weather and you’ll come along with your own thing. :)

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