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My alarm went off at 5.45 am.

I was child free.

And I did not have to travel anywhere far today,

I was up early so I could fit exercise into my day.

It was cold.

It was dark.

I was tired.

But I had committed to doing CrossFit this morning, and I had told my accountability partners (My Clubhouse Ladies) that I would be doing it.

img_7722I could quite easily have gone for a run, and in some ways I wish I had because the moon was brighter than I’d ever seen it before and my little part of East London looked magical in the dark.

So is early morning running your thing? Or what about running after a long day when its already dark?

The thing is running in the dark is part and parcel of running in the UK during the winter months, sorry folks you can’t avoid it…unless you opt for a treadmill and I don’t know about you but the thought of 10 miles staring at the same spot doesn’t really do it for me.

So here are my top tips for making it happen (even when you really, really, really don’t want to)

1. Accountability – Tell someone you are doing it. Tell a friend, a loved one, or even a complete stranger via the interweb that you have set the alarm for 5.30am and you are heading out for a 6 miler. They will firstly be in awe, and secondly enquire later if you actually did it…this is how accountability works. When I ask my ladies in our online running club what they get most from being a member, more often than not they mention accountability, someone to make sure they stick to their plan.

2. Get your kit organised – Nobody likes rustling around for kit in the cold and dark. Chances are if you can’t find your kit easily in the morning, or know its not nearby waiting for you, you are likely to roll over and go back to sleep. Some of our Clubhouse ladies go to sleep in their kit…no excuses then (hey don’t judge, whatever it takes right?)

3. Run with someone else – It’s always easier and most definitely safer having someone else to run with, and if you know they are meeting you at a certain time and location, you would never dream of letting them down. But even if you can’t get someone to ACTUALLY run in the same area as you, having a virtual buddy can also help. In The Clubhouse we have Cockadoodledoo runs, where the fact that other people are out running at the same time motivates you to get your backside into gear and out the door too.

4. Get some flashing, glow in the dark, neon kit so you shine like a star – There is something quite exciting about buying new kit, and kit which makes you stand out and not fit in is even more daring. Think head torch, flashing shoe accessories, glow in the dark/reflective leggings…these don’t just ensure you are seen by car users, but also make you feel like a “real runner” whatever that is…and if you buy the gear you’d better use it right?

3. Make the most of your earned bragging rights – Take pictures (Read EVIDENCE) while you are out running that shows that you are the kind of person who gets up early or heads out late to get the job done. Then post them all over social media. It might sound nuts to your mates that you get up and exercise while everyone else is still asleep…but I bet they will be envious, and you might even shift their opinion on doing it themselves.

Don’t let the shorter days, and darker nights put you off running. Just find new ways to motivate you to keep at it during the winter months….you will be thanking me come the spring.

On December 1st we start our legendary Countdown to Christmas Challenge – 31 days of fitness, food and fun…with over £1000 of fitness prizes to be won.

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Join us for just £12.99, and see what all the fuss is about…I guarantee you will be more active by being part of the closed Facebook page, and it will give you an insight into how we run our online groups.

You don’t have to be a runner

You don’t have to be FAT

But you do have to be a woman – sorry chaps

Sign up NOW!!!!!

The Clubhouse is our online running club for plus size women. It is an awesome community of women who really support each other to achieve their running and other health and happiness goals. It costs just £59 for the year and the women in the group say it is truly transformational

Join The Clubhouse Today!!!!

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