Outdoor training tips What to look out for when you hit the great outdoors

Running outsideWhen it comes to long-distance running, everyone is different. Some prefer the cosy confines of a running machine and fitness equipment and watching the TV inside. Others prefer getting lost in their thoughts on the open road. 

Right now you’re halfway through your training programme, which means your weekend mileage will start cranking up.

Here's some helpful tips to help you get off the treadmill and outside into the Great British weather:

1. Adjust for weather conditions

Weather illustrationYou can't predict the weather, but you can adjust to it. Wind, rain and temperature can all negatively influence your performance.

Forcing yourself to charge through a strong headwind, or to sprint on icy ground, might keep your average speed intact. But you risk injury.

It's better to be safe and keep your body intact. Save your personal best for when the sun comes out and we want to see all of our Team NSPCC runners at the finish line!

2. Stay visible

Whether you’re running at dawn or dusk, it’s vital that you’re always visible to drivers, particularly if you’re running through areas of busy traffic.

Always wear reflective, high visibility clothing. It’s an essential  piece of kit for runners.

You can find out what other pieces of kit are useful from last week's article 'Best training kit for marathon runners'.

3. Plan your route

As you get lost in your playlist and well into your running route, sometimes you may accidentally find yourself lost on strange detours and unwittingly increasing the distance you planned to run.

It's easy to get distracted but there are great Apps such as Strava which can help you plan your route and keep on track. 

You can choose different routes to keep you stimulated and, if the weather conditions allow, take in a mixture of hard and soft ground – your knees will thank you for it.

4. Walking is fine

Trainers illustration

Rarely will a running route be perfectly flat. If you’re coming towards a steep hill, adjust your speed accordingly.

And if it’s too challenging, don’t be afraid to walk (briskly) for a few minutes.

Use it as an opportunity to regroup and then attack the remainder of your run when you reach an easier gradient.

Helping you on your journey

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Read our other training articles to help you get prepared in the lead up to race day.

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