January Training & Snow Running

Well January is almost over, so I wanted to let you all know what I’ve been up to this month in terms of running…

 

This month was about getting back on track after a slow December. To start with I was doing 5-6kms, and then worked my way up to 8kms 3 times a week, but LAST NIGHT I DID 10.5KMS! It’s the longest I’ve gone since 14th December, and it felt goooooooood. Actually – for the first 2kms it felt good, and then it began to snow. Big, fat, angry snow that flew up and down and in every direction. Then it wasn’t so easy.

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I haven’t been able to push it hard, which has been weird. To keep myself from trying to go too fast too soon, I listened to all my calm music. Out went the Iggy Azalea, Plan B and Rudimental and in came nice acoustic songs that you want to have a cry to. It made every run feel like I was in a movie about personal growth and development.

 

So. Running slow took some getting used to, and that’s why I came up with this ‘be kind to yourself’ motto. I’m a very competitive person, and I don’t like feeling that I’m not at my best, so whenever I start to feel frustrated, I chant ‘be kind’ in rhythm with my feet. Such a change from when it was all about ‘main-tain’ and ‘keep-going’! Those days will be back though.

 

On the whole it’s also been really nice. There’s time to appreciate things more, and without the focus of trying to reach a certain pace/distance, you can let your mind wander more. Also: it doesn’t hurt as much, and the recovery is much quicker!  And  – I’m not going to lie – there’s more time to look through the windows with open curtains. I’m always soooo fascinated with what people do with their spaces. I promise you I’m not some freaky stalker, but if you’re running past an open window, sometimes it’s hard not to take a quick look….Tell me I’m not the only one!!!

 

But last night I did 10k, which was awesome. Running on snow is better than running on ice, but even so last night wasn’t the easiest of conditions. Here are my top tips for running in the snow and ice:

  • Wear trail shoes that have better grip than usual runners
  • Wear a hat! Don’t try running without a hat, or at least a headband to keep your ears warm
  • Keep your fingers moving! Don’t let them get cold
  • Layer up , but not too much. Don’t let the temperature deceive you: you will get warm.
  • Make sure you’re wearing bright, reflective gear – especially if it’s snowing
  • Start your run facing the wind, so that you finish with it at your back – you don’t want a blast of wind to hit you when you’re sweaty
  • Take it easy. Don’t go out there with any expectations, just see what the conditions are like and how you feel in them
  • When you’re finished, get warm quickly!!!
I mean, this is what I tell myself. It gets me out the door I guess. I'm not sure it's 100% true….

I mean, this is what I tell myself. It gets me out the door I guess. I’m not sure it’s 100% true….

Last night, encouraged by my chilled, acoustic soundtrack, I tried to watch the snow in the street lights. It was really pretty, and you could see how the wind would come and change their direction, swirling around each other. I’m sure I was on the verge of having some kind of epiphany about how we’re all just floating snowflakes, trying to make our way in the streetlight that is the world. But then the wind changed, and the very same beautiful snow flakes threw themselves in my face with such force: it was like someone was throwing sand. So that was that, and I remain unenlightened about our snowflake-state-of-affairs.

 

In summary, I would say January has been: slower, chilled, a time for re-prioritising and a time for patience. It’s been a good month after a month where I hardly ran at all.

 

Ellie B

 

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