Dark January is here – but so is your running….

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas. After writing about Formula 1 driving in December, SB and I thought the best way to spend our Christmas holidays was to drive over 2000 miles across the UK – more than once. It was the equivalent of doing this return trip:


Dude, if this doesn't look like fun to you, I can't talk to you.

If you’re not spending at least 4 hours in a car every second day, you’re doing something wrong, my friend.

We had a typical Christmas for our family: loads of roast dinners, chocolate and board games (that are only played once a year). My brother, SB and I also tried to whip our our musical talents and sing Christmas songs around the piano, only to find that we don’t have much musical talent.


In terms of running, I was still taking it easy, but I have started to up my game in this area. And, may I tell you Ladies and Gentlemen, that it is very exciting.

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Whenever you start back after a break, your first run back can often be disheartening. I get it. It’s cold, you realise how much fitness you’ve lost, and it’s much more attractive to stay on the couch. Last January I was running 10k in 47 minutes without working up too much of a sweat, this January I am working my way up to 7k with a speed that would make my Nana laugh. Except she wouldn’t – my Nana is very supportive. And also it doesn’t matter how fast you run – if only I could get my ego to believe this….

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So how do you keep the goblins of your mind at bay when you’re trying your hardest to get your running thang on? Here is what I do:


  • Go into the first run knowing it will be hard. You’ll get tired quickly, you’ll get a stitch when you least expect it, but if you do accept that things won’t go as beautifully as you hope, it will help push through it.
  • Figure out what your goal is. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Is it the regularity of running you want again? Do you want to work on your speed? Or your distance? Mine is the last one. I’d like to build my ‘regular’ runs back up to the 10k mark they have been for the past few years. Then I’d look at speed. Give yourself one thing to work on, and once you’ve achieved that, start on another goal.
  • If you decide today is the day you will run, frickin do it. Don’t let any household chores stop you (I promise you that running will be 100 times better than doing the ironing), don’t let the dark evenings put you off. Decide when you’ll go, and make sure you get out there.
  • Figure out your route before you go. When you’re half way through the run and you have a stitch, it’s much easier to continue if you can visualise the rest of the run, including the end. It’s pretty hard to continue when you don’t have a plan!
  • Be kind to yourself. You will get back to your former glory, just give it time, commitment and patience.


I hope that helps… I’ll keep you updated to my re-emergence in the running world! I feel like a butterfly emerging from its Chrysalis.


Ellie B