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Ticking over during the Winter by A.V. Turner #ChasingFitnessStory

November 27, 2018


I have always described myself as a recreational runner, I’m certainly not obsessive about it, but over the last 7 years I would say I have loved every moment out there on the road, rain or shine.  My love for the sport is enduring, but without taking over my life.


I do so envy those elite runners who get up at the crack of dawn and go for a 20 mile run on a Saturday.  The feeling afterwards must be wonderful, but I’m afraid if I went for a run of that distance, you’d be calling an ambulance crew at mile 14. We all have our limits and abilities. Each runner worldwide is unique.  


Now when October comes, I turn from a normal 50 something human being into a completely different creature altogether.  This I describe as my transformation to Mummy Bear mode, growling like Chewbacca at anyone who dares come to the front door. I want to sleep 90% of the time, I eat whatever I can find, I gain weight and all I want to do is hibernate.  I even cultivate a Winnie the Pooh style tummy; believe me, it takes dedication and determination to get a figure like mine.  


But of course, this is not ideal, and my battle with the Winter blues gets harder every year.


When it comes to running of course, getting out of the house is so much harder too.  If it wasn’t for my running partner, I’d never run again until the spring, when I would appear blinking and bleary eyed from my cave.


So, Pam and I have created a routine through the winter months, which we call the ticking over period.


It is ideal for someone like me, and if it works for you, then all well and good.  We get together on a Thursday morning, just after 9am and do a 5k, whatever the weather.  If it’s a sunny day we might go for another, but that one 3 mile run once a week, keeps us ticking over nicely.  If we stopped running completely over the Winter, then we would have to start all over again in the spring, and we want to keep a certain level of fitness up, so when 2019 comes around, we can enter all those races we so want to do.


With the change in temperatures, Christmas looming and the dark nights it gets increasingly tricky to make time for yourself and go for a run.  Here’s a few tips that might help:


  1. Make a time and date and stick to it.
  2. Early morning is a great time to go. Get up, dress in running gear without thinking too much about it, by the time you are out on the road, your brain will have only just registered the fact you have tricked it.
  3. If its cold, put your heating on in the car full blast to the point you are too hot. The cold air then becomes a blessing.
  4. Take someone with you.  Its more fun, and you are less likely to put it off.
  5. Remember, you will feel amazing afterwards, and that hot shower post run is just the best.
  6. Choose a distance that is comfortable for you.  It makes for a more relaxing run, and you will want to go again, same time next week.


These are all things that help me, I hope they might be of use to you too.  Winter time is notoriously hard for us runners, but its all worth it in the end.

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