Roads or boggy fields?

I live in a very rural, very hilly area. I am on week 2 and so far I have run on a very quiet back road taking my dog with me. I only have the one road from my house which is quite hilly along the route.

If I go into fields I would not be able to take my dog as they all have sheep. (he would be on a lead but he wouldn't run so quietly alongside me!) I would have gates/cattle grids to get through and the fields are so wet they wouldn't be that easy to run on.

So, my question is do you think I should stay on the road or venture into the fields?

I do not want to get into the car to travel to an easier area as I know I would soon stop doing this. I really need to be able to do the programme from my door.

My 2 runs this week have been very hard so I am trying to work out what might be the best solution.

Any advice much appreciated.

12 Replies

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  • Snap! My route from the house is also hilly and rural. I actually walk up two hills (takes about 18 minutes and I start my run from there. It is then downhill mostly for about 2.5k, which means I have to turn around and run back up it to get home, to cover the 5k. Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is because although running on the hilly road doesn't seem achievable for you at the moment, I think, with time and some sensible planning, it is. I use Goodrunguide.com to map my route and it shows me the inclines.

    Running in the field will probably be far too wet at the moment and not sensible with your dog.

  • Thanks for your advice. Looks like I'll be sticking to the roads.

  • I went running around my usual field today and it was awful. So slippery and I felt constantly stressed about falling over. I ran this morning and now i'm having awful problems with pain on the outside of my knees when I walk down stairs. i'm sticking to roads for now and certainly until the fields dry up

  • Thanks for your answer - you've helped convince me to stay on the roads.

    I hope you soon recover.

  • Roads for me as well, I much prefer the hard tracks to the muddy ones.

  • Thanks

  • There's mud and there's mud. I rather enjoy sloshing through calf deep puddles of peaty mud. I won't run on roads - after 30 years of significant incapacity I am not about to ruin my joints that way - but there are some muddy fields which would be very hairy with a dog on a lead and far too stressful and dangerous. (I am thinking seriously about getting trail shoes because of mud - some of my local haunts have been badly chewed up by cowboy contractors and are now very difficult)

    You could try doing *some* of your runs elsewhere. I know you think you wouldn't keep it up but if you feel you are starting to hit a bit of a wall with your current route then perhaps a change will help. (But don't do what I did once which was drive right round the Peak District for over an hour and then come home cross, tired and unexercised....)

  • Thank you - very helpful. I will try the occasional run away from home - that should work. I will certainly follow your final piece of advice!

  • I think roads over the winter. It sadly looks as though me and my running buddies did our last run through our local country park for the winter this week...too dark, no lights, boggy areas, and black shadows around the bushes. We're going to have to run around a housing estate for the next few months unfortunately!

  • Thanks, it looks as if I'll be on the roads too.

  • Where I live it is pretty much uphill any way you go! When I started I used to walk up the hill before I started the podcast. I actually became very adept at planning my run so that I only walked on the uphill bits and only ran on the downhills! Eventually though as my fitness and confidence improved I started running bits of the hills and now don't really mind them. In the Spring when we had a drought I loved running around the fields and much easier on the joints but it's been a swamp for months so I've had to stick to the roads - maybe next year! :-)

  • Thanks pingle, I walk the worst part of the hill but have to run some of the other hilly bits. I think I'm already getting use to coping with little hills and accept that if I can keep going in a jogging fashion uphill it is better than nothing. I am concerned about my joints but thanks to everyone's answers I'm not going to try the fields yet as they are so muddy now and won't get better for a while. I'll join you in the fields next year! ;-)

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