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Published on January 31st, 2019 | by Start Fitness


Tips For Winter Running

Winter running is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it! However, establishing a solid block of training is key to make sure you’re in good shape for the season ahead, whether that’s on the track, roads or trails. There are some points that must be made when training in the colder/darker days, just to be on the safe side. We’ve picked five of, what we feel, are the key elements to enjoy winter running while looking out for yourself.

5. Seasonal Illness

It’s safe to say that 99% of us will come down with the virus at one stage of winter and it’s not great, especially if you feel rotten. The 1% will somehow, walk away symptom-free and avoid the snotty noses and coughing.

When it comes to training or even racing with either a cold/flu – forget about it. Going out for a run or trying to complete reps will be twice as hard as it would normally as your body tries to recover. You have to think if your body is using energy to fight the bacteria and your training on top of that, you’ll be exhausted before you know it.

Best advice here is, what every GP will suggest, rest and stay topped up on fluids. You can always come back to running, it won’t go away, don’t worry.

Colds can take, roughly, two weeks to recover from, while flu is a couple of days, a week at the most. So allow adequate time before you hit the roads again.

4. Stay Litreflective running jacket

Aimed more towards those who run at night time, which, now, is pretty much all of us! Staying seen and safe is key for running in the darker nights. Using

familiar routes and staying within lit areas of that route will help with visibility not just so you can see ahead but also for drivers and pedestrians to see you’re on the move.

Avoid poorly to unlit paths and roads, or if you absolutely have run through them, we advise to wear highly reflective gear and lights.

There are other ways to increase visibility but we’ll explain that in a bit more detail later.

3. Wrap Up

An obvious one, really, isn’t it?

It’s going to get cold, it is going to get wet and it is going to be windy at times, so making sure that you’re prepared, whatever the elements are, is key to getting your session in the tank rather.

Using clothing that provides thermal covering, (we recommend these) is perfect for the brisker mornings/evenings, as well as thermal running tights too, this is mostly to reduce the risk picking up an injury, more so a pulled muscle, due to cold limbs.

In the wet/damp conditions, having a hat and gloves may offer some protection, but the base cover of a jacket will prove pivotal to avoid a prolonged feeling of damp clothes against skin – we know, it doesn’t feel great! These are fantastic for cover for wind also, there are wind specific models out there, but long as you are layered correctly, you’ll be good to go.

2. Plan Ahead

By this, we simply mean, know where your running route. During this part of the year, now is not the time to take a detour from your normal routes, purely because running in the dark hides a lot of things, such as uneven road surfaces, hazardous items like glass. Plus, there’s less chance of getting lost – come on, we’ve all been there!

If you did feel like exploring areas you’ve never run in before or fancy a change in scenery, it’s best to do so over the weekend during the day on your long run or even at a Parkrun in a totally different area.

1. Reflective Gear

Easily, one of the most important items of kit you should have in your winter training kitbag.

Wearing clothing that contains high visibility colours or materials is a must before you take on the terrains and roads. Without it, you’re almost unseen to drivers/passers-by. We suggest going for colours such as orange, green, yellow as they are easily seen.

These days, even long tights contain materials that purely focus on you being seen. Tights such as the 2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights are a good example. However, almost all of the current tights offer some sort of reflective taping, this is worth researching.

It’s not just clothing though. Lights, small or head torches, reflective and snap bands offer a money-saving alternative if tights are a little out of reach, available for under £10, even under £5.

All in all, as long as you are smart with clothing during winter, the training will be a breeze and not a freeze!

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Written By Start Fitness