Winter runners

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How to get the most from your winter running

09.11.2015

When the days get shorter and the air gets colder, for some dragging yourself out for a run can feel like a huge chore while others relish the challenges winter brings. Whether you are a committed runner, or just starting out, here are some tips to make your runs as comfortable and safe as possible:

Be safe, be seen:

Wear kit with reflective panels & invest in reflective strips, a high-vis hat and a fluorescent bib too!

Warming up:

Warming up is essential for preventing injury – and even more so in cold weather! A 5-10 minute warm up before you leave the house will get blood pumping to your muscles and soft tissues reducing the risk of injury by improving the flexibility of your whole musculoskeletal system.

Switch your shoes:

There is nothing worse than running with wet feet after ploughing through an unexpected puddle! Buy yourself some shoes that will keep your feet dry and provide extra grip for negotiating wet and slippery surfaces. Running specific socks with high wool content will also help to keep your feet nice & toasty!

Trainers, running, grip

Make sure your trainers are waterproof & have plenty of grip!

Turn the timer off:

Winter running isn’t about speed – adjust your expectations and know the same distance will take longer in tougher conditions. Modify your stride and run in a manner that maintains stability. Save your speed training for when the weather has warmed up and the conditions are safer!

Stay hydrated:

When you are working out in the cold it’s easy to be fooled that you do not need as much water as when you’re sweating & feeling hot in the summer months. However, hydration is important for injury prevention regardless of the season so fill up your water bottle before you go.

Wrap it up:

Clever layering is key to winter running. Choose technical fabrics to wick moisture away and stop you feeling chilly. Add a middle layer to create air-space and insulation, and an outer layer to protect you from the wind and rain. Add running leggings, tights, gloves and a hat. Keeping your head covered will maintain body heat and keep the circulation going to where it’s really needed!

Layering is key during the cold weather

Layering is key during the cold weather

Quick change!:

As soon as you stop running your core temperature will drop & could even lead to hypothermia. Make sure you change into warm, dry clothes as quickly as possible at the end of your run. Don’t forget to stretch and foam roll once you have done so too!

Feeling grotty?:

It’s the time of year that cold and flu make their biggest impact, so if you are feeling rough give yourself a break and rest at home. Conserve energy for a speedy recovery. If you suffer from asthma, take extra care as the cold air can trigger symptoms.

Don’t ignore an injury:

If you have pain or discomfort that’s not resolving, seek some advice. The sooner you do, the sooner you get back to training!

Remember: the toughest part of any run is getting out the front door!