Getting ready for the Midnight Run: solo runs or in a group?

Midnight run pikkukuvia-16We will not surprise anyone by carrying a winning smile and a happy attitude during the Midnight run, as most people will have those on as well. The ability to wear them in case we like is precious though, and few things are better for building up the confidence than fitting in some training beforehand. Practicing running solo or in a group – each has its perks.

We will start the 5-10 km runs every Saturday at 10 am. Check out the schedule at the end of the post and join us!

Before Helsinki, I would always run alone, because it gives the freedom of not having to schedule the run, but rather head in whatever direction whenever the mood is right. The mood also sets the pace, and can reset it at any moment during the run, depending on what the body says. And it is, indeed, easier to listen to your body and mind when you are on the road alone.

If you observe the runner population in Helsinki, however, many times you can notice them pairing up or sometimes – forming bigger groups of runners. It took me a while to realize that it is a smart way of fitting in a fun social activity with like-minded people without missing out on the fitness and health benefits that running brings per se. So, depending on the chosen group, the run allows one to be with friends or to make new acquaintances. Simultaneously, the other people provide a positive peer pressure not only to make the hardest step (over the threshold) regularly, but also to effortlessly quicken one’s steps to reach the goal pace or, alternatively, to shamelessly slow down during the recovery run.

Let us know on the Facebook event if you are planning to take part in Midnight Run.

Are you looking for a company for your future runs?

Consider asking around your friends – it might surprise you how many people run for joy or would love to if they had someone to run together with. Another option is to look into the existent running groups in your neighborhood.

Helsinki Running Crew could easily be my favorite one. They meet every Tuesday at 6 pm in the lobby of Töölön kisahalli to run approximately 10 km long routes at the pace of 6 min/ km. It is always a well spent hour among inspiring people of different (including cultural) backgrounds, so, engaged in some exciting conversation, one might even not notice how a run comes to an end. But it is well worth keeping the eyes open since sometimes it feels just like a picturesque sightseeing with the running shoes on; there is so much Helsinki still to discover.

On Thursdays, I would encourage checking out the interval trainings organized by iD Running. I know, it sounds scary, but it is actually a very satisfying, an efficient and, most importantly, a fun workout. It turns out that you do not have to be in a good shape to run the intervals, rather – that is the way to get there, and quickly. Their sessions start every Thursday at 6 pm in the lobby of Kumpula UniSport, where you meet a coach and a passionate runner Iain Donnan, whose contagious joyfulness convinces the eclectic group of different sizes, ages, and abilities that everything is going to be okay. And it will: you will warm up, do some running drills and then choose among the different sized laps in the scenic Arabianranta to cover in the shortest time you can. Every lap for me starts with the thought, “hey, this is not so bad, actually, it feels pretty well”, then later comes “oh, yes, now I remember”, in the homestretch the only thought is, “never again”. But then there is the two-minute rest, by the end of which I cannot wait to outclass myself again. It is somehow inexplicably addictive.

If your next running goal is Helsinki Midnight Run, possibly the best group for you then is the one with the same goal. We will start the 5-10 km runs every Saturday at 10 am. Check out the schedule below. Runs are free of charge and all are welcome. You can leave the things you do not want to carry at the UniSport lockers (so take a padlock with you if you have one).

Have fun training!


Date                Meeting time          Meeting place                       Route
July 5               10 am                    City center UniSport             5 km Katajanokka
July 12             10 am                    Töölö UniSport                     6 km Hietsu
July 19             10 am                    City cente UniSport              6.5 km Suomenlinna
July 26             10 am                    City center UniSport             7 km Kaivopuisto
August 2          10 am                    Kumpula UniSport                8 km Vanhakaupunki
August 9          10 am                    Töölö UniSport                      9 km Töölönlahti
August 16        10 am                    Kumpula UniSport                10 km Vanhankaupunginlahti
August 23        10 am                    City center UniSport             8.8 km Almost MR
August 30        8 pm                      Main building                         10 km Midnight Run!

Remember you can also join the Endomondo challenge wherever you are at the moment and get in shape for the run and win some nice prizes at the same time.

Text: Dina Nitisa, international student ambassador
Picture:Veikko Somerpuro