Posted by: stokiecat | January 3, 2014

The Great Outdoors – Janathon 2014 Day 3

Following on from yesterday about defining myself and motivation, I realised that I’ve learnt something else about myself since becoming a runner. It’s all well and good being told that you need to do 30 minutes exercise three times a week (or whatever the current recommendation is – I honestly don’t know) but if you can’t find the thing you like you’ll never get anywhere. I have learnt this to my literal cost, with no doubt thousands of others, in lapsed gym fees, purchased and unused home gym equipment, even wasted food from fad diets. My discovery is that being outdoors is the only exercise that really motivates me. Your choice has to be a type of exercise that even when you don’t feel like doing it you still do it anyway and get at least a little positive return.

Some people love the gym but I find it boring, so outdoor circuits (boot camp style?) or interval runs with weights for me. Some people love to swim personally find public pools to be the absolute pits. I’m too fast for the slow lane, my face is always in some older persons’ crotch and I’m too slow for the fast lane therefore someone’s face is in my crotch, this is not a pleasant experience for anyone.  They are overcrowded (a joy of running is that even in a group no-one gets in my way and I’m usually to out of breath to talk) and those constant laps are sooooo tedious. Swimming in the sea when I visit my family in Cornwall is a much better option and one of these days I plan to try some proper wild swimming. Some people love zumba or aerobics, I have zero coordination or rhythm but here I do concede that I take a class. I do Bodybalance once or twice a week which is yoga/pilates based but I’ve done it specifically to help my running posture and flexibility, and I can practice it outside. This is not meant to disparage those other choices, I say each to their own (see my point above about finding what suits you), but personally I need the free, fresh wind in my hair…
I really don’t/can’t exercise indoors. For many years I was a rambler (still a member of the Rambler’s Association, keeping those rights of way available for trail running!) but this habit gradually reduced until in 2012 I was getting very overweight and doing nothing. The weight and food thing is another story for some other time but I have learnt that if I am a runner then this is my motto…

death before treadmill

Even my brief 5k around Fenton (one of the six towns of Stoke on Trent) tonight in the cold and dark and along some not very scenic roads is better than being indoors anytime. Outside there is always something interesting to see. There was going to be a photo here from the top of Fenpark Hill showing the glittering lights of the city below me but my camera is awful, see evidence from yesterday’s blog, but also it was bucketing down, again 🙂 Oh and I brought a bike 6 months ago for the cross training, death before spinning as it were, but as that is my second favourite way of exercising it’s currently mothballed until the early mornings and evening get a bit lighter at the end of January.



  1. A great write up mate… if only more people would give running a go!!!


  2. Agree re the attraction of outdoors — but depends on the weather!


    • Never 🙂 The rules of running say, running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.


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