I wouldn’t say that I’m a fair-weather runner, but with a treadmill easily accessible to me I do, fairly frequently, ditch my road runs for treadmill sessions when the weather is grim.
Recently the weather has indeed been particularly grim, and although I still believe there are benefits to running on the treadmill, I’ve been braving those elements more often. Getting going in the rain can be tough, but with so many miles to do in a week I’m not going to get through the winter season dry, am I? For a start, I’m in England. Rain is par for the course. Yes, I could continue to ditch the wet road sessions for dry treadmill ones, but I really want the bulk of my miles on a weekly basis to be on the road. That’s where the races will be, so that’s where the majority of my training should be.
There are benefits. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m crawling back inside, sodden to the core, dripping all over the floorboards. For a start, it is a mental test. Getting out there in the pouring rain is a test of your mental muscles, a challenge to how determined you are to stay committed to your training plan. It is, despite how hard it might be mentally, I think easier to run faster. The rain keeps your body temperature down, and so it should theoretically be easier to keep going hard for a longer period of time. Of course if the wind is bellowing in your face and the rain is ice cold and bucketing down…that might necessarily translate, but a light to moderate shower isn’t going to hurt, in fact, it might just help.
Also, everyone hides inside when it’s raining. If you like your roads/paths/trails quiet, get out there in the rain and enjoy them all to yourself.
In Other News…
I’m moving this little running blog to an every other week feature, to force me to fill the other weeks in the month with Classically Lacking posts (because that’s what I started the blog for!). Although I enjoy talking about running, spacing it out a little bit gives me more to talk about on a post-by-post basis. It also means that there are way more articles and news stories to share each time I come over to the Runners Corner. So whereas I usually take a detailed look at just one running story from the week, here’s three of my favourites.
‘If you like park run, you’ll probably absolutely love dark run’ by Jessica Salter
I’ve recently booked in for a night-time 10k around a local reservoir and nature reserve, so I was interested to read this article extolling the benefits of running in the dark, and the current popularity of the practice. Running in the dark is a big-no-no for a lot of people, especially women living in cities, but with the nights drawing in no one wants to be stuck with after-work treadmill sessions for the whole season, do they? Sensibly, groups of runners are banding together and attending specific events, such as the one I have entered, to enjoy the freedom of running in the dark.
Fasted means faster?
‘Does Exercising Before You Eat Breakfast Really Help Your Health?‘ by Daniel Zickl
The reason I run first thing in the morning is because I really like to be done with my running. As much as I enjoy it, it’s nice to get it in nice and early when the world is quiet and cool. The fact that I’m running without breakfast isn’t really a factor, but it turns out that my habit might be increasing how much fat I can burn. Great!
Don’t Die, Run
‘Any amount of running reduces risk of early death, study finds‘ by Nicola Davis
40-50 minutes of running every week is enough to keep you alive for longer according to a recent study, which is less than the NHS recommended and often ignored 75 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise. I wouldn’t necessarily advise cutting out all of those extra minutes and hours that you’re putting in on the road or in the gym, but it’s nice to know there may be some tangible mortality-based benefits to all of this struggle.
This week we’re shouting out the Holly Hustle, in the excellently name Meanwood, Leeds. The Hustling Hollies of the name hold well-maintained paths that you will thunder upon as you race either a half, or quarter marathon. Expect to work hard uphill and find joy downhill.
Also expect mud.
Lots of mud.
But there’ll be soup and crusty break at the end, so I’m sure it’ll all seem worth it.
Find more information, and potentially book one of the few remaining places, at https://racebest.com/races/v359c