Now that the clocks have gone back marking the end of daylight savings time, the earlier darker nights make it all too tempting to skip a late workout rather than venture outside. Especially when the autumn weather brings with it cold, wet and windy days. It is hardly inviting to any slightly reluctant runner. The choice between staying in and relaxing with a cosy cuppa and a purring cat or leaving your warm house behind and running out into the unknown darkness can be an easy one to make. However, if you can get yourself out there you may be surprised by what you discover. Running in the dark can not only be an exhilarating experience but it is an easy way to revive a routine workout. But there are some simple things you can do when running at nighttime to help you stay safe.Continue reading
After an anxious and frustratingly long month of not training for a marathon the big day loomed straight ahead of me. In one week, the virtual 124th Boston Marathon and the Milton Keynes Marathon would take place but I still couldn’t run. However, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed…I was angry! A word of warning before we go any further…I realise that what I am about to share with you is a first world problem of the highest order but I am a runner. If you are also one then you will recognise that when it comes to running and injuries we can be more than a tad irrational and self-centred.Continue reading
I am sure I am not alone in letting my mind wander to the point of distraction while running and it is no different in the time of coronavirus. However, as I weave around other runners and walkers while trying not to trip on any rebellious dogs that defy social distancing rules, my thoughts tend to revolve around one topic. Where am I going?Continue reading
As I was running in torrential rain whilst trying not to be blown off my feet during the latest storm, my mind wandered to the newspaper article I had read that morning. It was another feature set out to debunk several myths about running and encourage more people to take it up. Although I didn’t disagree with the essence of the article I realised that this was the second time that I had read something on the very same topic in only a matter of days. Whilst I pondered to what extent there was any mythology about running that was stopping people from lacing up their trainers, I was momentarily distracted and misjudged the depth of a very swampy puddle. I felt the surge of icy water engulf my feet as my shoes sank to the puddle’s depths and it occurred to me that neither article had mentioned this.
No one ever comes clean and tells you the truth about running. Maybe it was about time to let the uninitiated know what they will be signing up for. As a veteran runner, I feel dutybound to share this so what follows are the harsh realities and the inconvenient truth about running.Continue reading
As I sit with my feet up, nursing a very blackened toe I have taken a moment to reflect on the past weekend. Last Sunday, I joined over 2000 other runners and took part in the annual Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon. I have run this event several times before and have had very mixed experiences of it mostly due to the dodgy weather at this time of the year. But like many others, I haven’t been put off by it either. The Winter Half is increasingly sold out every year and for the first time, the start was organised into waves of evenly paced runners. Not that this stopped a bit of ambitious manoeuvring to the front of the start by runners from later waves. But the slight kettling at least meant that the beginning of the race felt less like being chased by a herd of gazelles who thundered by while you tried not to get trampled on or slam into the occasional bollard.
The other difference in this year’s Winter Half was that the course had slightly changed. Now this is not unusual because the changing winter weather can mean that some years, the route must be altered at the last minute due to flooding. However, as I have run the course so many times before I never pay much attention to any tiny little tweaks to the route. Especially because the course always overlaps and repeats many of the running routes I normally train on. So as far as I was concerned, as long as the Winter Half course was pretty much the ‘same old, same old’ and not any farther than the 21 long kms, I was fine with it. Or so I thought…Continue reading