I accidentally ran 10 miles today

Today I planned to run to work, and then back home in the evening. It’s only 2 miles each way and it’s a great way of getting some running miles in whilst commuting.

I had started to get a Tuesday night running club together, and that came through today as well.

So after I got home, 4 miles done for the day, I kept my runners on, had a banana and waited for Ricky to knock on my door, before we headed off for another 6 miles.

So I’d run 10 miles by the end of the day, and felt great for it. It’s got me thinking today about how much easier it is to get lots of miles in if we just break it down into sections, and have breaks.

Back after 6 weeks off

After getting married and a lengthy honeymoon I’m back to my normal exercise regime.

I’ve done little exercise over the last 6 weeks, other half a dozen short runs, and the odd casual bike ride

I’m back in the gym today, and it feels tough.

Current winter plans include

  • Brighton Half Marathon in February
  • Increased strength training in the gym (I’ve been going once a week and taking it easy.  Looking to step this up a bit)
  • Long distance bike rides
  • A return to yoga after a decade off

“Free” excercise time 

This week I’ve done all of my exercise “time free”.

I’ve not had to find any extra time this week to complete 20 miles of running, and 30 miles of cycling. 

At this time of year (winter) I normally walk to work. That’s 35 minutes each way. Everything below took only slightly longer, each way. 

  • Monday: ran to and from work, 11 miles. 
  • Tuesday: cycled to work and back, 15 miles.
  • Thursday: ran to work and back, 9 miles. Had guilt free lunch out, and a toasted tea cake in the office. Yum. 
  • Friday: cycled to work and back. 15 miles. 

If you’re a parent, or short on time, this technique could be a way of finding exercise time. 

I like running in winter, and the dark. But I’m not a big fan of cycling then. So this regime allows me to get good cycle miles in, in the daylight, before the work day begins. I can take the nice Brighton coastal bike path, or go over the South Downs via Devils Dyke. A challenging but rewarding ride. 

When running to and from work: I run with my clothes and lunch to the office. I have a jacket and shoes there. Then I run back without my bag, and get it he next day. 

Achieve more by planning your weekly sports

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By planning your sports sessions at the beginning of the week, you can achieve more and make the most of the weather. Especially so in Winter. 

Each Sunday I check the weather forecast for the coming week, and plan my sports sessions throughout the week. This allows me to make the best of the weather, and get the most sessions in.

I have Mondays off work and normally have a run with Abs. 

Tuesday and Wednesday I normally cycle to work the long way. I normally take a 15 mile route, often taking a hilly route over the South Downs. 

On Wenedsay night Abs is often out so I do a long run of perhaps a cycle group ride. 

Thursday night I often meet friends for drinks and so there’s no sport. 

If I’ve been out on Thursday night I normally walk to work (35 mins), if not maybe a long cycle in. 

Saturday I work half a day and I’ll try and get a 3 hour ride in, or a long run in bad ducking weather. 

No sport on Sunday, except walking and maybe a swim. 

I aim to get to the gym 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes I’ll run at lunchtimes. 

I try and get 1 short run and 1 long run per week

I try for 50+ miles per week of cycling. 

Taking the time to walk to work – the benefits

My office is 2 miles from home, and so I cycle to work nearly everyday, even in the rain.  Every so often I walk to work.  It only takes 35 minutes, and is a great alternative.

Today’s October weather was so gorgeous that I enjoyed every minute.

Lansdowne Road Brighton
Lansdowne Road Brighton

The stats from my FitBit

300 calories in only 35 minutes.  I walked at fast comfortable pace.  If I cycle it takes about 12 minutes and burns around 110 calories.

Fitbit walking stats

Getting ready for winter cycling, commuting and dark evening running

Winter’s coming, and the nights have started to draw in very quickly.  Normally this would fill me with dread.  But this year I am embracing this.  This is a great chance to focus on getting in more riding, and evening runs.

Although summer brings the better weather, it also brings lots of distractions that actually stops me getting out there.

More riding

This winter I am focusing on cycling to work at least 3 days a week.  My office is only 2 miles from my home, so I’ll take the long way to work.  I’ve put together several routes or around 15 – 25 miles that will give me a great ride into the office.  I’m not going to try and do it everyday, just the days with good (enough) weather.

I’m not a big fan of winter evening rides.  The cold weather and dark evenings don’t sit well with me.  By riding to work in the morning light I can get a good ride in the warmer daylight.

I have also started doing the odd day working at home, with a primitive home made standing desk.  I’m planning on using this day to have a longer lunchtime ride.

To get myself ready for this I cleaned my bike, got the mudguards on, bought myself some great new lights (Exposure Diablo, Trace and TraceR), and some new gloves.

More running

I started the year with lots of running, and then a big gap due to a lack of focus and a knee injury.  Then in September a got back into running with preparation of the Truro Half Marathon.

So, I’ve got the running bug back, and I don’t want to lose it.  I much prefer running in winter as you keep cool, and it’s the best use of the dark and wet winter evenings, which aren’t really useful for much else!

To keep me motivated Abs and I have signed up for the Brighton Half Marathon in February.  I bought myself some nice new running kit.

Thinking about my routes for the winter, I’ve sorted an old Cree bike light as a torch for running around the very dark Hove Park.  It’s a great location to run in the evenings, as it’s traffic and people free, and has a good bit of elevation.

My advice is to embrace this changing weather, and plan what you’re going to do to keep active.  Don’t get stuck in on the sofa.