A friend of mine once told me how he was into night running and could only get out for his weekday run after 10pm when all the kids were in bed.

I always thought he was crazy, but in the current heatwave, or is it a drought(?) I’ve started to come round to his way of thinking when it comes to night running.

Too hot

With all of this heat, it’s been too hot to run during the day – even first thing in the morning you can feel the temperature getting up, and there’s no way I’m heading out for a lunch time run in this heat.

But my first foray into night running happened by accident two weeks ago, when I missed my Tuesday night Longdale Striders session because of work. In fact, I was only a quarter of a hour late home, but decided it was too late to try and get along to see Jude and Co at the Otter pub in Taverham where we all gather.

So, guilt ridden, I headed out at 10pm out along Middleton’s Lane then right at Asda to the new Sweetbriar roundabout, with a left towards Waterworks Road, back up Drayton Road to Asda and then along the ringroad home via Cromer Road and Middleton’s Lane again.

Keeping my cool

I was a bit worried my tea might repeat on me, but actually once I got out I quite enjoyed the cooler late night run, though not sure I’d feel the same way at any other time of year. In fact near the end, I could feel myself picking up speed and upping the tempo, so all that running at 5k, 10k pace they put you through on a Tuesday night is obviously paying off when it comes to speed work.

I missed the Striders again this week (well, there was a match on), so headed out again for a second burst of night running on Thursday night. This time I headed left at Asda towards Aylsham Road, the down and across Woodcock Road, Constitution Hill, back on the ringroad, and up Fifers Lane at the corner of Catton Park and back home.

The second run was a bit more twingey for me than the first, (it’s the groin again) though think that may be because I didn’t warm up or stretch enough – I’ve got a real issue with stretching by which I really mean not stretching properly before I run and know it’s something I should look at.

Core strength

In fact, I’m also wondering about the need to strengthen my core, does anybody have any views or tips on this? Is Yoga better than Pilates when it comes to strengthening your core for running? Or does it really not make any difference? I suspect fans of both will tell me that they are completely different and have different strengths and weaknesses. There’s quite a few classes nearby – including at the Dojo (has anybody come across this btw, it’s a brilliant centre right in the middle of an industrial estate).

So back to the night running, I’m liking the fact that it’s much cooler at that time of the day, and so thinking about carrying on with it. My only real issue is I don’t like to run after I’ve eaten a big meal, even it was a couple of hours before.

But on balance I think that varying the times I head out is doing me good.