outdoor running

Hello everyone. I have been running for 2 years now. During that time I have built up my speed and distance so that I can now comfortably do 10k in just under an hour. Because I am a student and have a lot of free time during the summer months I have been making the most of it by going for runs outside in the surrounding countryside around 3-4 times a week. It has been great fun planning different routes and since I started doing it back in june I have made so much progress!

Now here comes the problem...I am moving back to uni later this month and will be living in a part of Birmingham that I currently don't know very well. Also, the nights are drawing in so there will be less daylight hours. I have really started to enjoy running in the great outdoors but am worried about how I will be able to continue once I am back at uni and dread going back to the treadmill full time.

Therefore I am wandering how other people overcome similar barriers and if anyone has any suggestions?

Thank you!


  • I am sure at Uni you will find other people who run or a club to join?
  • Hmm. In winter I normally stick to routes that go along the main roads so that there are always streetlights and plenty of people around.

    It's difficult though if you dont know the area. I think you just need to go and explore the area a little. Carry your phone and personal alarm. Find someone to run with.

    Try treadmills instead if you dont feel comfortable?

  • Unfortunately my uni doesn't have an athletics club which I was quite dissappointed about when I started last year. I have considered joining a local club instead but am worried about how good you have to be or the level of committment they expect as my course is quite demanding.

    I would love a running partner but don't know how to get one!

    So far my only options seem to be to stick to main roads etc which I'm not sure about because although I don't mind passing the odd person while out running I would feel self conscious with lots of people staring! or alternatevly I have thought about just sticking to weekend runs where I would have more choice about where I run.
  • There are several running clubs in Brum and there is a Brum thread somewhere.

    Most clubs welcome runners of all levels and there is no level of commitment,
  • Can't you put up a notice at Uni to see if there is anyone who wants to join you?
  • i'm in a similar situation. i'm going back to uni soon and will be living in an area i don't know well. i'm planning on going exploring on my bike next week (i'm moving tonight and i've got about a week till the course starts) to check out routes. i've already planned a route using mapmyrun that goes 'round the block' (living off campus). as winter is approaching image my plan is to stick to that route for evening runs (as it has pavements and streetlights - ooooh the luxury!) and then go for longer ones at the weekend. i'm looking forward to being able to run outside in the winter. it's too dangerous where i am at the mo (out in the sticks) and i HATE the tready image

    i'm also planning on joining a local running club, which will hopefully mean i'm only running alone in the evenings once a week.

    good luck!!!

  • "it's too dangerous where i am at the mo (out in the sticks)"

    eh?? dangerous??? big bad wolf going to come and get you??? sheesh....
  • Yeah, I wondered that, I live out in the sticks, and its not anymore dangerous than anywhere else to be honest.
  • As a student don't you have lots of free time while at Uni aswell to go out running - only kidding image.

    FB/Dan - I am guessing that Aphridite is a woman and (generally) their perception of danger is very different to most men's.  My wife won't run in the park by herself despite the fact our house edges onto the park and I can safely see her the whole way round from my living room.

    As others have said, join a club (they may ahve beginners/women only sessions) or put a notice up for other runners - you should find someone, Brum is a big city so there's bound to be someone else there that runs.

    I think if you drop to weekend runs only you may loose fitness and therefore your enjoyment of the countryside runs.

  • But thats my point, "the sticks" are no more dangerous than anywhere else, infact, I'd argue that its safer, less people, cars, bikes about an all that?
  • FB/dan - i usually do run outside (LOVE it!). i only consider it dangerous on winter evenings as there are NO streetlights or pavements and the idiot drivers around here don't seem to understand what a 30mph speed limit means!!

    yeah, i'm a wimp, but so what? image

  • ok...considering everything I've been told I am definately considering joining a local athletics club. I've looked at where I will be living on map my run...one main road with a maze of housing estates either side. There is a park about 1.5 miles down the road but realisticly during winter months I would be restricted to running in one straight line along the main road and back again which would be a bit boring!

    I am quite excited about joing a club though, because I feel that I have got to a point now where I am ready to try something new and work towards a goal. It would also be great to meet other people who enjoy running as till now I've had little contact with other runners apart from the odd brief encounter when I've been out running.

  • Aphrodite - which uni and what area are you staying in? Might be able to point you in the right direction image

    (I live SW of Brum & went to Brum Uni, plus I now work in Dudley)

  • Hi Basil Brush MK II image I am at Aston uni and will be staying on the Shirley/Hall Green Border (stratford road).
  • Ok...there's a few clubs over that side of Brum... thinking maybe Sparkhill Harriers, or if you fancy coming across Brum a bit there's Bournville...both I have heard good things about.
  • alternatively you could run in a Wonder Woman costume and no-one will mess with you
  • lol Wonder Woman...I will definately give that some serious thought!

    Anyway, I have been on the web re athletics clubs and sparkhill harriers seems very promising to me so I will be getting in touch with them when I move to brum. I just feel slightly phobic about it because at school I was crap at sports full stop and was always the kid that came last, hence I have a certain fear of organised sport!

    In terms of my sense of danger, yes I am a women and so feel more at risk, but I do feel totally comfortable being out in the middle of nowhere as I have been doing. Perhaps I have got it the wrong way round and should feel more comfortable running in areas with lots of people?
  • When I was at Uni I still found plenty of time to run during the daylight hours.
  • I'm grateful to be a bloke, and live in an area where I have no concerns at all about being out in the dark on my own (well, other than turning my ankle in a pot-holed lane.

    Every club I've had contact with have welcomed runners of all standards, so i wouldn't worry about that. Some which call themselves ........A.C. might be a bit more elitist (though probably not), but any that call themselves Joggers/Harriers/Runners etc. will almost certainly be welcoming.

    They are also a good place to meet people who might want to pair up as running buddies to run on other days of the week.

  • Aphro - have you tried www.runningpartners.org.uk ?

  • Teuchter - yes I have tried runningpartners.org.uk. Reading through the list and taking all things into account I found one potential partner (if you look, many have not logged onto the site in over a year!) I think I many contact that person but have decided that for now it would be best to wait into I actually move, which is next weekend. However, I appreciate everyone's suggestions and certainly have a lot to think about. I will let everyone know how I get on!
  • Good luck with that Aphro.... yes, I noticed that many of the entries are out-of-date; I guess it's a critical mass thing... there's another one.... afaabd.com, but it suffers frrom the same problem, and is more general in scope.
  • I'm in my second year of uni, and agree totally that as a young female you feel a lot more vulnerable about badly-lit roads at night, especially when there's no pavements and the local drivers seem to not give a monkeys about runners! I bought hi-vis gear and joined the uni running club this year, and having people to run with is so motivational! There are sessions scheduled every evening, but I just go to the ones that fit with my training plan and workload. So much better than being stuck in the gym watching bargain hunt alone like last winter! and we're training towards the Paris half-marathon in the spring... cant wait =)
  • You're a student. Just go running during the day rather than watching tv. Simple. image
  • we do work sometimes!
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