Preparing for winter running – 5 top tips

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As the nights get longer and the temperature starts to drop, ticking of km’s during those early summer mornings or later summer evenings can seem a distant memory. And let us be honest, there will be a natural drop off in our running during this period. But the important thing is not to have a huge drop off, reduce distance and pace if necessary, but attempt to keep a level of frequency.

Here are 5 top tips for runners on how to get yourself through the winter chill:

  1. Stay lit – with limited daylight, chances are you will be running in the dark at least once. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear or use a headlamp—less so you can see where you are going and more so people can see you.

2. Dress for the occasion – think layers. Wear a base layer and then add layers for extra layers based on temperature. But remember do not go out dressed like you are climbing Mount Everest. It is okay to feel a little cold when you start but as you run, your body will naturally heat up. Avoid material that absorbs sweat as it will lead to chills.

3. Keep the engine warm – if you have been skimping on your warmups and stretches over summer think twice during winter. Cold muscles are an injury waiting to happen. If you are prepared to warm your car up in winter, then treat your body with the same care.

4. Hero’s do stay at home (sometimes) – there will be days when the conditions are far from ideal. If you do not feel safe or comfortable, stay home. One or two missed runs are not the end of the world.

5. Give yourself a carrot – motivation is harder to find during winter runs. Find a buddy or someone in our group who is local to you or join our weekly runs. There is no wimping out when you know there is someone waiting for you. Or treat yourself after one of your runs. If you make it enjoyable you are more likely do it again.