Getting out on your runs in the winter time doesn’t have to be an ordeal.
Here are some tips for making those cold evenings a little more pleasant if you are running outdoors!
#1 Make a running date
It can be so tough trying to motivate yourself to go out in the cold full stop, let alone for a run.
Why not bring a friend along and motivate each other?
If you make a commitment to go with someone else, you won’t be as inclined to cancel as you will have to justify letting them down instead of just yourself and this can make all the difference when the little voice in your head starts to protest at the mere idea of a run.
#2 Wear your thermals
When the weather gets really cold, it is well worth investing in proper running gear designed to retain the heat while still being comfortable to train in.
You can get leggings and long sleeve tops that are designed for training in the depths of winter. This will make your runs a lot more comfortable without causing you to overheat.
Think layers, you can strip down a bit if you are too warm but also avoid the discomfort of the cold! Bring a hat and gloves too as heat will escape through your head and you will also really feel it if your hands are exposed to the cold.
It is well worth bringing along a jacket that is water resistant but light weight that you can tie around your waist if you don’t need it. These are a godsend for those winter showers!
✓ These also fit nicely into pockets if you get too warm! Speaking of training gear, it’s really important that you are seen, especially if you are running at night.
✓ Consider either getting gear that has glow in the dark features on it or you can also get a little elastic reflective strip that you can wear on your arm for those evening runs that will help keep you safe.
#3 Time yourself
Although this applies year round to your training, setting goals and smashing them such as the time it takes you to run a certain distance can go a huge way in motivating you to get out on those runs when the weather gets bad.
✓ You can simply use your watch or your phone to keep track of how long it takes you to get from point A to B and try beating it each week.
#4 Make sure you are wearing the right runners for the weather
Try and wear runners with as little mesh on the outer as possible. If it rains or if you are running in snow, that mesh will be your worst enemy as you will have soaking wet cold feet before you are even five minutes into your run.
These runners are fantastic for running in, especially in warm weather, but can make for a very uncomfortable workout in wet conditions.
Be sensible with your socks too, try investing in a few pairs that are moisture wicking but also warm for maximum comfort.
✓ Running socks also tend to be slightly more cushioned too which further add to the comfort of your training.
✓ If your runners do get a bad wetting, crunch up some newspaper and put it inside the runners as this will help dry them out a little faster for you.
#5 Warm up properly
Although warm ups are extremely important in all types of weather, they become even more so when temperatures are low as it is harder to heat up the muscles and cold muscles are vulnerable to injury.
✓ Take extra time to warm up properly and this will also make it much more pleasant to run outside as you won’t feel the cold quite as much!
#6 Change out of wet gear A.S.A.P
No matter how tempting it may be to flop on the sofa after your run, avoid hanging around in wet gear at all costs. Make changing into dry clothes and getting warm again a priority after training in the bad weather.
You will be more comfortable and will avoid getting a chill too.
✓ Sit down with a nice warm drink after you get into dry clothes and put your feet up then rather than before!
Take Home Message
Running outdoors in the winter can be a challenge, but also extremely rewarding too. You can train at any time that suits you and also make it a social occasion by going with a friend or running group.
The cold weather does not have to be an obstacle to you reaching your goals, try some of the tips above for your winter running sessions!