Running Free

I love cycling. But for sheer out-the-door ease, you can’t really beat running.

I can be a mile into my run, up in the Cotswold Hills by the time I’d otherwise rooted around my various drawers and decided on my cycling garb for the day, let alone put it on. And that’s before all the faffy nutritional considerations and obligatory bike tinkering has taken place. Those autumn or spring rides are the worst when there is the potential for significant temperature changes from start to finish. If there’s a shower in the forecast the decision making can become borderline stressful: arm warmers and waterproof? Long thermal and gillet? Short thermal and arm warmers? Etc etc. That’s not to mention the lower half clothing conundrum, shoe cover considerations and glove choice challenges. My blood pressure’s rising just thinking about it.

No, I love cycling, but as I said, for sheer out-the-door ease, you can’t beat running. I’ve got a pair of inov-8 Mudclaws: they’re such great all-rounders that whatever the terrain you come across, you’re OK.

Earlier today, much earlier in fact, before the family had stirred, I was up, in my running socks, shorts and ‘technical’ T (that annoying term for an unnecessarily expensive and indecipherably different t-shirt) and out the door in a flash. I was soon lapping up the early morning sunshine – vitamin D going wild (as a billion and one health magazines would have you believe) – working my way up Sandy Lane and out onto the chalk escarpment of Leckhampton Hill with the still-sleeping Cheltenham below.

After a further few miles of running – smug thoughts of seizing the day buzzing round my mind – I descended back down and got back to the house before anyone had even noticed. That counts as a free session in my book so, I’ll be trying my luck for another quick session later!


Ben is a duathlete who recently stepped up from age group level to race for the GB elite team. You can find out more about him here and follow his adventures on Twitter.