Tips For Running In The Dark

thumbnail_New Limits_logo black

Summer is but a distant memory.

Gone are the smells of cut grass,BBQ’s and suncream.

Here come the Rain,mud and the dark!

It is going to be dark when you get up (well dark when I get up,you may be an international rock star that sleeps in till 2pm!) and it’s probably going to be dark when you leave work as well.

So what do you do? Hibernate until spring? succumb to the monotony of the gyms lonely treadmill?,or even worse finish those decorating jobs you have been promising to do since 2007?

Hell No!

With a few tips you can run outside all year and bask in the smugness that your training counts for double of those safe and warm in the gym**

Tip number One:

Wear something bright/reflective! 

Yes we have all seen you stood in Tesco in your latest ninja black running kit and yes your top may be a great fit and your black bobble hat keeps your ears warmer than a turkey on Xmas morning but guess what? We can’t feckin see you outside! you merge in and out of shadows like the cat from Alice in wonderland! Difference being the cat didn’t have to try and dodge some prat texting while driving!

It isn’t big or clever,if you don’t want to buy new gear (are you even a runner?!!) then a high viz vest can be bought from any DIY store for less than ten quid.

Tip number two:

Wear some flashy lights!

It goes without saying trail runners will wear a head torch,but this isn’t really necessary on the roads most of the time,plus you run the risk of blinding car drivers if you don’t have the beam set correctly!


Now i’m not talking dress up like a Christmas tree,or Dynamo from the running man,But a little flash goes a long way 😉 ! One of my lads bought me some little clip on lights that are ace and the size a matchbox. I also really like this from Decathlon as it makes you look like Iron Man!




Tip Number Three:

Let someone know where you are going!

Remember when Bart fell down the well? He was stranded as no one knew his whereabouts.(The Simpsons ref for the uncool kids).

I know we all want to be free spirits but just tell your significant other roughly your route and how long you will be out,if you haven’t got a significant other then text a mate or a relative.Don’t tell your cat,cats dont give a shit about you!

Tip Number Four:

Run in a group!

Unfortunately the world we live in today is not always the safest.It matters not if you are a man or a woman. The ‘Yout’ have grown wise to the average runner carrying expensive gear and I have even heard stories of people being attacked in ultra events that run through residential areas! Don’t make yourself an easy target! If the street/subway looks like it should be in the Nightmare on Elm street,it’s probably wise to run a different way home!

On a lighter note,group training is great for motivation,I am currently sat here writing this while the rain batters my windows thinking that running is not happening today!if it was a club night then I would be out with the rest of my mates braving the elements!

Search for your local running club on Google and you may be surprised just how many different options are available to suit every type of runner!

Tip number Five:

Embrace the grind.

Some days it is going to be tough whatever the time of year but especially in Autumn/Winter.But tough runs build tough runners! You don’t have to be out for hours and hours in the dark,It is amazing what the benefits of a 30 min hill session in deepest darkest November will have on your performance come March. Running is not only about physical fitness it is also about mental strength, and if you can get a consistent training block under your belt from now till spring then the mental toughness you build on those long nights will work wonders when the sunshine pokes up its head again!


And then we can all moan it’s too hot!




**It Doesn’t

How Not To Run A 10K!

Far from my usual haunts of trails, mud and hills is a lovely little city called Salford. Salford is famous for its rich industrial heritage, LS lowry and of course Vimto!

It also holds an annual 10k around the Quays which is why I have found myself here on a glorious Sunday morning!

Now I don’t often run 10ks, in fact my last one I hit hard was in November 2017! It’s not that I don’t like the distance it’s just that other things get in the way and I usually pace the one right on my doorstep The Bury 10k .

I arrived with no major issues, apart from the bag drop having a queue longer than Next at 5am on sale weekend! I swiftly turned heels and dumped my stuff in the car (back up 4 flights of stairs in the multi storey!).

The usual couple miles warm up felt good, no niggles or tightness, I did however realise my sunglasses were still in the car, back up 4 flights again we go!

After the rather over ambitious group warm up I found myself on the 2nd row, race etiquette is usually fastest first and works backwards. Looking around at the racing snakes I knew I should be maybe a few rows back, but convince myself I won’t go out like a dick but will instead ease into my pace.

Gun goes.

I set off like a dick.

I’m not entirely sure what came over me,I shot off like I was in an 800 metre race! I knew it was too fast but my legs felt like they had been possessed! Trouble couldn’t be far away but at the back of mind I thought,maybe today is my lucky day!

It wasn’t.

At two miles my legs had regained sense and realised that we still had a bloody long way to go and decided to turn off!It was as if I was wading through treacle while on the travelator on a episode of Gladiators!

By now a stream of runners who had been much more sensible than I began to pass me.At five miles in I had had enough and pulled over to evict the contents of my stomach!

I convinced myself that I could still equal if not better my PB if only I could get moving again ,after what felt like an age (in fact it was sub 20 secs) I was back in the race and like an old wheezing steam train,moving again.

The finish appeared to my left,all I had to go was about 400 metres over a bridge and about 90 seconds to do it. Now 90 seconds for 400m on a track for me on a good day is not too taxing.

This wasn’t a good day

Or a track.

That bridge may of well been Ben nevis,I hit it and knew it was game over.Remember what happened at mile 5? Well it was happening again,and aggressively!

I hit the finish and immediately emptied what was left of my stomach contents,I apologise if you was in the crowd and wasn’t saved by the splash guards/safety barriers!

I finished around 14 seconds outside my PB ,so not the disaster I originally made it out to be.Was I annoyed? Absolutely!, but I hung around to watch friends and a couple of my coached athletes finish and the smiles and elation of all the finishers really put my little sulk into perspective!

Running is great but ultimately it is only running,a vast majority of us don’t get paid to compete and sulking about a bad performance won’t change the time.