Taking your first step outdoors in January can be tough.

You’re feeling well and truly stuffed from turkey and mince pies, you’ve watched more than your fair share of festive films and you can’t bear the thought of venturing out in anything less than a thermal bodysuit!

But it’s that time of year again… when you start thinking seriously about your post-Christmas work-out routine.

To make the process a little easier and to help you prepare, we’ve put together our 10 tips to get you running this January:

Set yourself a goal
It can be very difficult taking your first step outdoors in the winter months, but having a goal in mind, no matter how small, is the ideal motivation.

Make a playlist
Think Eye of the Tiger, Beautiful Day and Don’t Stop Me Now for some of the best fist pumping, energetic tracks to help you take on those extra miles.

Layer up
Remember what your granny used to say about wrapping up warm?  Well this is the time to take her advice! Be wise to the cold weather, but don’t overdress, as you’ll naturally heat up when you start exercising.

Dust off your trainers
Clean up those running shoes you haven’t worn in months and mark the beginning of a healthier, fitter you.  If it takes you a while to get motivated, try wearing them around the house for a few days to start with.

Find a great location
To love running is to run in a place you love.  The UK is full of beautiful parks, trails, beaches and cities all waiting to be explored. Spend a little time researching new areas and keep it interesting by mixing up your routes.

Brave the elements
Enjoy the exhilarating feeling of running in the rain or seeing your breath sweep in front of you on a crisp winter morning. If it helps, just picture everyone else scoffing Christmas treats for breakfast!

Think of the benefits
Running is the perfect way to burn calories, it’s good for your joints, and actually raises your IQ.  A Swedish study found a link between high levels of aerobic fitness and better results in an IQ test – ideal for your next trivial pursuit game-night!

Start off small
Chances are you won't have the energy to complete a 10 mile run on New Year’s Day, so start off small and ease yourself into it. Don’t forget… there’s no shame in walking!

Stay safe
The dark nights can be intimidating, so don’t venture into an unknown area by yourself; take a friend, mobile phone and a torch… or alternatively go out in the daytime instead.

Try not to lose your motivation
It’s very easy to succumb to the warm indoors after your first January run, but try not to lose your enthusiasm. Why not persuade a friend to run with you for encouragement, or join a Great Run Local near you.


Whether you’re a complete novice or a regular club runner, we have a Great Run to suit you.

From family events and 5k all the way through to marathon distance, there is something for all ages and abilities in ManchesterBirminghamBristolGlasgowPortsmouth and more locations across the UK.

Find out more and sign up today