As a runner there is no doubt how beneficial a run in the fresh air can be, both mentally and physically. But when the winter hits, temperatures fall and our daylight hours become fewer it can be hard to find motivation to head out on a chilly run. But just because the going gets tough, doesn’t mean that our running routine needs to hide into hibernation until the warmer weather hits.
Winter runs can be amazing, to uplift your spirits and get you ready for the day, but if you are a beginner looking to get into running, it can be incredibly frustrating to brave the elements in the cold winter days.
If you read our last post, on how to get out more in the winter months, let’s consider this that next step. Continue reading for our best winter running tips:
ACCEPT THE WEATHER
Unfortunately as much as we may dislike the cold, those chilly days are going to continue to be there year after year during the winter months, so you have to remind yourself to accept it just as you would any other obstacle that comes at you during the year. Instead of complaining or making excuses about how cold the run is going to be, think about how mentally tougher you are compared to the runner that decided to head to the gym on the treadmill.
WARM UP BEFORE YOUR RUN
Running during the cold winter months, can be tricky for experienced and newbie runners, and something that often gets overlooked is the risk of injury of running in the cold, so make sure to implement a proper warm-up prior to getting out the house. Move around the house to get your blood flowing, and do a couple of mobility stretches to wake your body up.
DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE SPEED
There are numerous factors that can affect our running speed when the temperature drops, such as the temperature itself, wind chill, humidity and environmental conditions like snow and ice, in addition to these adding those extra layers of clothes can also to some extent slow you down. Rather than stressing about your pace, try and mix your workouts up, include some hill sprints or some hill endurance runs, mile loops round your house with a short rest in between. Don’t stress about the speed, as this will begin to increase naturally as we step into spring.
Before you set off on your run, address the weather situation outside, if there is a lot of snow and ice on the roads, you increase the risk of slipping on ice. Find a route you know, and drive to there, if this isn’t possible try and run loops around your house rather than a loop that can lead you far from safety. If you are running on your own, ensure you carry a phone with you, as well as wear reflective clothing, to make sure you can be seen at night.
Something we all tend to do during the winter is overdress, as you begin your run you should feel a bit chilly but you will gradually warm up as you get moving, if you overdress from the start to will quickly begin to feel uncomfortable as you will begin to sweat early into your run. However something to take into consideration is to make sure you protect your hands and feet properly, as body heat escapes through our hands and feet.