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Lacking motivation? Here are Diss runner Steph Callen’s tips on battling bad weather to keep up your training schedule

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 March 2017

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN

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“I can’t wait to run in the cold and rain...” said no-one!

The start of this year has thrown plenty of testing weather at us road runners.

I’ve been a member of Diss and District Athletics Club’s road running group for two years and the brilliant achievements of our runners in the face of very wet conditions at this month’s Cambridge Half-Marathon reminded me that, actually, learning to embrace rather than avoid the elements can reap real rewards.

But first, a confession to any new runners. Don’t be fooled by those who look like they’re confidently striding out in the midst of showers. Even experienced runners will peek out of the window on a miserable day and try to think up a reason to stay indoors.

Living in Diss, I’m lucky to be within a five-minute jog of some beautiful country lanes where I love to lose my thoughts in the sights of the fields and hedgerows. That’s not so easy when, after the thousandth rain drop slides off your nose, you’re not so much admiring the first signs of spring, rather examining your own sanity.

Yet these could be the best runs you do all year because they build one thing that cannot be earned so easily on the treadmill - mental strength.

The willingness to keep going that is tested and nurtured on these days is invaluable.

If you’re just starting out or you’re coming out the other side of a soggy winter training programme, take heart that - for myself and many others - our best performances in spring and summer events began life in those runs when we’ve said “boo” to bad weather.

Obviously, safety is key - please don’t try to take on anything like Storm Doris! But, most times, wearing sensible layers and high-vis clothing, sticking to well-lit areas when dark and a bit of grit is enough to set you on your way.

Good luck!

Steph Callen lives in Diss and began running after gaining a place in the London Marathon. Four years on, she continues to run regularly as a member of Diss and District Athletics Club’s road running group and enters events throughout the year.

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