Losing my 2015 outdoor running virginity

Deterred by the freezing climate, I’m guilty of neglecting the roads for the treadmill. Yet, after months of indoor hibernation I finally got my fitness game back into gear by attending the weekly running club with the Sweatshop running community.

Every Tuesday a group of runners flock to the Arndale Centre for one reason and one reason alone – they love running. I was sceptical about how many people would actually turn up, afterall we are just running around Manchester in the dark in freezing conditions, but I was pleasantly surprised when around 70 lycra clad runners piled into the small shop. Obviously I’m not as tough as the other runners who have been religiously running outdoors for the last few months – come rain or ice (I would say shine, but I live in Manchester). 

The great thing about the running community is that it’s free to join and they incentivise you to keep attending. After five weeks you get a yellow running community tshirt,  after 25 weeks you get a nutrition pack, after 30 weeks you receive a foam roller and finally after you’ve been a faithful pavement pounder for 50 weeks you can choose a free pair of trainers from the shop!

Aside from the freebies, it’s a really friendly environment to meet other people in and it’s not intimidating to join at all.

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I made the mistake of not wearing a watch or bringing my phone with me, so I after a while I had no idea how long I had been running for. This proved challenging as I somehow managed to end up running alone. I was right in the middle, struggling to keep up with the speed demons ahead of me but not slow enough to run with the people behind. I can’t be sure whether it was my determination to succeed that motivated me to keep going, or just the fact I didn’t want my trainers to get robbed in Cheetham Hill, but I finally made it back to the starting point without stopping.

Feeling relieved and exhilarated it was back to Sweatshop for water and a chance to congratulate your fellow runners for making it back in one piece.

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Overall, I hope to keep going to running club as it motivates me to run longer distances than I normally would in the gym and as twee as it sounds there’s something nice about a shared, if a little sweaty, achievement. However, I know how much of a wimp I am when it comes to the cold and even a crowded gym seems more appealing to me than running in the snow. But if I want to keep eating amazing burgers like these I need to get my butt outside. Let’s hope a freak heat wave hits England soon!

Hannah