Winter running

How/when/where does everyone manage to run in the winter? Eventually, with the clocks changing and daylight becoming less there will be almost two months when it is only light between 08:30 and 16:45 approx - when I am always at work.

The weather does not worry me but a lack of daylight may hamper things somewhat...

Do people hit the gym? Running track? Run in the dark - and if so where is it safe? Do you scale back your mileage in the winter or work on specific things, differently from the summer?

Thoughts appreciated.



  • I run in the dark. Pavements are fine with streetlights, or you can get a headtorch and try paths - if they're not too technical.  If its icy though - gym.
  • I didn't run much last winter, but with some races coming up in October and November it's something that concerns me. Safety while running in the dark is something I'm concerned about.

     What I'm going to do is cut down my sessions to 5 instead of 6 times a week. This breaks down into 2 running club nights, a run on Saturday and Sunday during the day time, and one before work or evening session depending on the weather and if I can be bothered to get up that early. I don't want to have to join a gym.

  • i dont run in the dark as i live in rural area, so not many street lights on my route! alternatives are running in the afternoon after work , but that means lower mileage, and going at weekends as soon as its nearly light. other alternative for me is to go to club so i can run in dark safelyimage...its a case if cram it in where ans when you can wrxmania....
  • Bit of creativity really as suggested above

    Join a club - or run with a group, lunchtimes or areas with streetlights.

    ...or the gym as a very last resort image

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    I run in the dark, in the ice, in the snow. I'm guessing all of you who worry about the risks of being attacked never walk to the shops or anywhere else in the dark?

    The main risk is possibility of tripping over...its harder to do speedwork, so I go to the track for that in the winter (it much less busy then as all the sprinters are off doing winter training elsewhere).

  • I run in the dark during the week and long run at weekends in daylight image I live in an area where the street lights aren't always wonderful so I use a head torch and plenty of high vis clothing.... I'm also planning on carrying on running trails at dusk/ just dark with the head torch. This is something I didn't do last year so I'll see how it goes !
  • I'd only be worried about running in the dark if I was running on roads.
    And I detest running on roads in daylight even. Just too dangerous.

    In built up areas I've never had any problems running at night. Safe as anything else.
  • I run in the dark in well lit roads

    I'm not able to do this near me due to the lack of streetlights, have to drive! I am tempted to get a headtorch though, I have seen lots of people running where i live by headtorch!

  • Alpkit Gamma. Fab torch and about £13 - WITH BATTERIES !
  • cougie wrote (see)
    Alpkit Gamma. Fab torch and about £13 - WITH BATTERIES !
    thanks will have a look for one image
  • I run on streets or in the forests. I wear a lightweight hi-viz vest (Brooks nightlife), a small flashing red LED torch on an elastic strap round my arm (rear-facing) and a Petzel Tikka headlamp if it's necessary to see where I'm going. I feel my biggest risk is being hit by someone who wasn't looking out for me.

    There's a saying that there's no such thing as bad weather, only wrong clothing. So I have a good array of tights, long sleeved baselayers and a couple of good rainjackets, gloves and hats, all with some sort of reflective piping for better visibility.

    If it's snowing, I wear some Innov8 trailshoes which have better grips than my usual runners. And I just get out there. I think it's good for physical and mental health to be exposed to the weather, whatever the season. And if the weather requires a little bit of a tough, go get 'em attitude, well I just think that contriobutes to the requirement for a tough, go get 'em attitude when running marathons. Enjoy


  • Thanks all. May well try a running club a couple of times a week alongside a Parkrun and a longer Sunday run. I simply cannot run daytime, lunch etc as day so busy. Never out before it's dark and in work by 8am.

    Any other ideas?

  • Not sure how many ideas you need, or why people are so worried about running in the dark.

    Running in the dark in the morning is fab - I use a headtorch because there are no streetlights, and I usually cover between five and ten miles from 5.30am onwards (it used to be earlier when I had to be at my desk in London by 8.30). Some of it's on the main road between villages, some of it's on tiny little wooded roads, some of it's through woods and fields. I have yet to meet any lions, tigers or bears (oh my!) though deer, badgers and foxes seem to be far more scared of me than I am of them.

    Best clothing in the dark is reflective, next best is white. Hi viz is better than black, but really only highly visible in daylight.
  • My only real concern about running in the dark is safety when alone in the dark away from home - the cold etc does not worry me...

    May need to find a way to do this.
  • what is your fear of running in places in the compared to running those routes in the daylight...........

    with high viz and a head are need rto work out what about it that is making you it the dark itself or do you think theifs or attackers are more likely to be out in the dark evenings than the light they prefer the cold...........

    i think that you need to get out there to enjoy the difference of the dark.............the only routes I don't like are those through firtrees but then i don't like them in daylight either.....I prefer the real woods with proper trees

  • Rain, snow or ice.  Light or dark does not matter to me.   Have you got anymore chance of being jumped running or walking to the shop?

  • I went out in the rain and the dark for the first time since "summer" last night. It was brilliant, the air is fresher it's relaxing and to top it all off, I didn't pass one single soul. I much prefer running in the winter as I struggle with the heat but also because all the little nobheads who usually hurl abuse and generally act like idiots are all indoors.

  • Deadbox - there is the issue - I am not living in the "leafy suburbs" and there are a decent share of idiots about, seemingly no matter the weather...
  • So the idiots are out and about when the weather is nice, it's light outside and you run by yourself?

    Is there anyone who could run with you?

    I live in a crappy town and the estate I live on there are always big groups of teenagers about, but once it gets cold/wet they disappear.

  • During the good weather I am running near a golf course, along a quiet canal path in a nicer area and near a nice loch. I would not use these in the winter as they are totally isolated (especially the canal run).

    Maybe I just nee to "man up" image
  • Yep, man up and get out there image Just give it ago, you never know, you might like it!

  • I prefer to run in the dark, but then im very new to runnng and i just dont want to be seen huffing, puffing & red faced image.  I'm not worried bout idiots or boogymen, they tend to stay in when its cold & dark, but being able to see where im going is a necessity !!

  • I've always been weary about going out after dark on my own, being a woman who's grown up in London. However since I've been running over the last 3 years, I've realised that I just couldn't do it in the winter without being in the dark. So I go as early as possible, around 6ish, whilst there are still commuters around walking back from the tube station etc., and stick to the bigger roads. I don't like running on main roads but I like running on a treadmill even less. And not at all even less than that. No headphones either for safety reasons. I figure that if it's safe for all those female commuters, it's even safer for me, who can run away from a nutter! Also I do as OP says, and do my long run on the weekend- Saturday mornings usually whilst one of the kids is doing his sporting activities. I've not long ago joined a running club too, which is fantastic, so I shall be continuing to go on their women's run on a Wednesday night. It's fantastic running in the winter, even in the snow. There's something very magical about fresh crunchy snow underfoot and the light it gives off at night. The only thing that drives me to the dreaded treadmill is ice.
    HTH image
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Running club for me and I'm one of those sad people that don't mind the treadmill
  • Running club may be a good way for me too. Thanks to all for the replies - helping me out.
  • I suspect I'm more likely to break my neack falling over in the dark than be attacked. That would be the kind of thing that would happen, I'd hit a wonky paving slab or root & go arse over tit!

    I joined a club, so that gets me 2 runs mid week, long run at the weekend. Other than that, I have a head torch, which works but is a very strange experience to run with, or choose lit routes, maybe to the park, round it a few times & home again. It's a case of being a bit sensible, but not living in fear of the unlikely hypothetical.

    I really like long winters runs though, something entirely satisfying about seeing your breathing and feeling the contrast between the cold on your face and the warmth generated internally. That and the completely disbelieveing looks from walkers who are wrapped up in umpteen layers while I'm still in capris!

  • Helen Liz and her capris

  • Sorry it was just the image that came into my head.image

    During the winter and infact all year round I get up at 5 5.30am to run. Its now dark in the mornings so I have to run the streets rather than the loverly country side. The only peole I see are the early shift workers and dog walkers, I feel safe in the morningsimage

  • I can understand why you people can be a little put off with running in the dark, I combat this with running along well populated routes (houses and businesses) and taking my phone with GPS and my music on.  I only wear one ear piece and have the music or audio book quite low so I can hear what is still going on around me. Also everyone knows that murders and kidnappers don't get up till lunchtime!image

    The other thing is to try and go out for a early morning run it gets lighter while you run, rather than darker. I am member of a club and go to club night at least once a week. I have encouraged a number of work friends to take up running and we often use it as a excuse to get out of the office on time and run together.  Last year we went out in the rain and the snow the trick is to concentrate more. and watch what you are doing image

    As for the cold, I mainly wear a long sleeve top, t-shirt over that, then something vaguely waterproof as a final layer and long running tights.  For head wear usually a beanie hat and gloves which I normally take off after 15-20 minutes (too hot!)image

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