I keep getting asked questions about how to keep running through winter. I mean I know it’s tough with the dark nights, rain, slippy leaves, etc but it is definitely doable but there are a few things which can make it a hell of a lot more pleasurable than you might think!!
So here are my ramblings about how to get through the next 3-4 months:
Buy things that makes you visible. I give out flashing armbands to all the people who come to my classes – they even get to keep them now (some benefits to covid right?!!). There are hundreds of options out there, many of which are brilliant. I get my flashy armbands off Amazon. You can get neon vest type things which you wear over your clothes, neon running tops, lights that go on the back of your trainers. Just wear as much as possible so that you are able to be seen on the streets.
**NB – I have a few spare armbands for sale for just £2 each if anyone should want one – just ask!
Buddy up – the new lockdown rule of being able to do exercise in a socially distant pair is brilliant for this. This isn’t just due to safety even though I know a lot of you feel safer with someone else with them, it’s to do with motivation. You’re much more likely to go out in the dark if you’ve arranged to meet someone as you don’t want to let them down – take my run club for example. All great runners but many/most need the motivation of someone else to get them pounding the pavements
A head torch. Now they’re not for everyone but if you’re only able to run in the evenings or first thing in the morning, I would highly recommend getting one. You can get them for £15-ish on Amazon with great reviews. Obviously they help you see better but it’s not just that – the more you can see, the more confident you are with each step so you can run taller and straighter. If you’re constantly looking down at the floor trying to find somewhere safe between the leaves to place your feet, then you could end up with a sore lower back so we want to run tall to prevent this.
Keep your head warm – you lose soooo much heat from your head that you’ll feel a million times warmer (not scientific stats obviously!!) if you have something on your head. I love the Hygge headbands…you have to buy like 5 at a time randomly but pair up with someone and get some. They are fab – they can be headbands and/or scarfs and when you get too hot, they just handily wrap round your wrist so you can carry on running without the faff of taking a hat off and having something in your hand.
Keep yourself warm – lots of light layers is best as you can remove them as the run progresses. Base layers are brilliant too – I have a couple – one is a neon one from This Mum Runs which says FEARLESS on it and I love it! I tend to wear a base layer and then a t-shirt on top of that as I’m quite a cold person so it takes me a while to warm up but everyone is different
Waterproofs – unless its pouring down don’t bother with them! They’re a bit of a weird one! You need a really good one for it to actually be waterproof and I find that they just end up getting stuck to you as you warm up and end up as a bit of a yucky, sweaty mess clinging to your arms – eeewww!! No-one wants that do they? Maybe this is just me! So ditch the waterproofs unless you’ve got an ace one – and if you’ve got an ace one please let me know where you got it from (ha ha)
Gloves – i’m such a geek but I love a running glove! My fingers go practically blue in the proper cold of winter so gloves are essential for me. I’ve a pair of Nike ones that I’ve had forever and they’re ace. Crap for anything other than running as they’re so thin but perfect for those frosty mornings.
Wear the right shoes! If you’re going off the roads and onto the trails especially down the Mersey or round the Waterparks if you’re local to Sale then invest in some trail shoes – I got some last year and the different is unreal when you’re running down the river – it’s actually got grip rather than looking like Bambi!! I got a pair of Saucony’s in the sale on the sportshoes.com website. You can also get waterproof trainers – I’ve never tried them but I’ve heard very good things. This could help with the whole soggy foot debacle we all get ourselves in!!
Post run – get out of your kit and get in the shower as quickly as possible. Not only does this feel amazing – it helps your body temperature from dropping too quickly. If you don’t get changed and you stay cold, you can risk getting ill and no-one wants that – especially not this year!
Fuel yourself properly – this isn’t just a winter tip as its important all the time but especially when it’s freezing cold – make sure you’ve fuelled yourself well pre run or have a plan to re-fuel after your run. Your body has to work really hard to maintain your core temperature and you don’t want to feel awful mid or post run so make sure you have eaten well to ensure you run to your best.
That’s the end of my ramblings for now – I’d love to hear your tips and fave bits of kit so comment below and let us know what they are – you know we all love to have the right gear!