Active Travel



When it’s OK Not to Run

Jan 6, 2014 | Running | 5 comments

I finally went for my first run of 2014 yesterday morning. I ran my tried and trusted 3 mile route along the Thames enjoying the gorgeous views in the crisp, cold air. It was slightly icy underfoot so I kept my run slow and tried not to slip. I felt like Bambi skidding all over the place at times.

I wore my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes that I think will get a lot of wear this winter, along with some Lululemon Wunderpants in a tweed style pattern. I think they’ve actually sold out in the UK, but I really recommend them in any of the other patterns. They’re so warm and comfy, I’ve even worn them with black boots to work!

As it was icy underfoot, I wondered whether it was slightly dangerous to keep running outside. Icy roads and pavements are the one type of condition that I would usually completely avoid as it’s so hard to see the ice and can be lethal! I don’t want to end up on my bum or worse. I ran slowly on the pavement and road, although I felt far steadier on the grass and trail. I could definitely feel that I haven’t run for a few weeks and my pace would have suffered with or without the ice.

I would typically say that it’s best not to run outside when it’s icy, and I started to think about when else I might suggest to myself or others that running outside, or at all is a bad idea. Some of these might have been reasons I gave myself as to why I didn’t run in India recently.

  • When you’re injured, recovering or can feel a twinge that shouldn’t be ignored. 
  • When your body needs a rest, if you’ve completed a number of hard workouts and you need to recover rather than pushing your body 
  • When the streets outside look like this:

  • and the gym treadmill looks like this:
Seriously the oldest treadmill I’ve ever seen at one of our hotels
  • When you’re ill- apparently if you have ‘below the neck symptoms’ then give it a miss, whereas if it’s just in your head then get out there and pound out a few miles. 
  • When you might miss your pedicure (other important engagement) if you go for a run
  • ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes’ – mostly true, although the severe weather and flood warnings in the UK would suggest otherwise. If the weather is grotty, go for a run. If the weather is dangerous, run inside or give it a miss. 
  • Pain- if it hurts a lot somewhere that it’s not meant to hurt then take it seriously. You’re lungs burning, legs aching and heart pounding is normal, pain in your joints or severe muscle pains not. 
  • If you feel faint or dehydrated
  • Blisters- if they’re big angry blisters then clean them, look after them, and let them heal. If they’re small and not painful then cover them with a plaster, put a clean pair of socks on and run carefully. 
Most of the time though, you will feel better after your run, so lace up your trainers and hit the road! 
What’s the best excuse you’ve given yourself not to run? 


  1. annibanani2

    I live in Pennsylvania and right now we’re having what the weather people are calling a “polar vortex” which apparently is a scary way to say “super cold weather.” It’s supposed to feel like -15 tomorrow, so I think that’s an EXCELLENT excuse to stay inside!

  2. Andrea Hershner

    Here in Ohio we are also in the “polar vortex” so I will be inside for a few days, but I did do a workout today in the comfort of my warm home 🙂

  3. Emma StripesandSnapshots

    I ran on Sunday but waited for it to warm up and luckily the roads weren’t icy down by me, but I can imagine that’s definitely not very safe. Even walking to work when it’s icy I’m lucky if I make it without falling over! I think my excuses for not exercising sound really silly, my main one is not wanting to keep washing my hair. It takes so long to dry and I’ve heard you shouldn’t wash your hair every day, so I always think, oh I’ll have to wash my hair again…maybe I’ll go tomorrow! How silly really!

  4. izzyldn

    A friend of mine in Essex posted a picture of his running route next to the Thames being overflooded.. I guess that’s a good reason!!


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