Discouraged from your run by the winter weather? Not liking the cold and the damp? It may be tempting to hide indoors until Spring, but that’s not good for health, fitness or morale. If you are training for an event, you really can’t afford a gap in your programme. Even if you don’t, you need to keep up those fitness levels.
Let’s motivate ourselves to get out there. Here are the four essentials for safe and fun Winter training:
Winter running is a real balance between protection against the elements and avoiding overheating. Hypothermia is also a common risk among runners, stay wise and you’ll be one step ahead of Jack Frost. You need layers that wick sweat away from your skin so that you don’t get cold. Treat yourself to some good winter running gear, and don’t forget that hat!
Black running gear may be the height of fashion, but make sure you top it off with some bright colours. Hi-vis clothing and reflective bands are an essential part of your night running kit.
Like most of us, you probably want to finish your run as vertical as you started. Tread carefully on slippery surfaces, now is not the time for a PB. For snow and slush, look for suitable trainers with plenty of grip. If yours have done a fair few miles, it is probably time to replace them.
Winter is not the time to be slack about your warm up and stretching routines. Cold muscles are much more prone to injury, and that can take you off the road for weeks.
So protect yourself from injury with a good warm up before your run, and a cool down and stretch afterwards.
It may be cold, but it is still important to pay attention to fluid intake. The right clothing should wick away sweat, and without the heat signals you may not notice that it is time for a drink. Don’t forget that water bottle, and ensure that you drink plenty when you get home.
Still not too keen on the great outdoors? In that case, this is a perfect time to head to the gym and get on the treadmill. With new gadgets such as virtual reality surround screens, you don’t even have to give up on the view!
I absolutely love running in the winter. You feel all lazy inside when it's cold but getting out for exercise and warming up your body just feels great. Melissa - I get quite cold hands so am always glad of gloves, but only wear them on cold mornings.
I always find I get boiling half way through my run and have to take off my hat, gloves etc. Even my jacket sometimes. Then what do you do with all the stuff you've taken off? I find it much easier to head to the gym, sorry but it's much less hassle and no rain and wind to contend with.