Tips for Running in Winter

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By Laura Cummings

Winter is by far my favourite time of year for running: a bracing wind and spot of rain or snow can make for much easier running and reduce the feeling of dehydration! As someone who is not a fan of warm sunny training days, give me a downpour of rain in 3 degrees any day! Winter running also means cross country! Getting muddy and braving those minus temperatures… and no, I am not mad! Cross country is so much fun and adds some variety to usual running routes. My first one with my team was this time last year; 5.2 miles in -2 degrees – my toes were numb before we even started. Add to that a hill in which you had to use your hands to scale it and never ending mud, and it’s a wonder I have not been off! Though the home made peanut butter cookies I made for after certainly helped me and my team mates recover!

However, there are a few things to consider when bracing the winter weather. Firstly there is the safety aspect… finding my love for running living South of the UK, I never really encountered many icy days, but running in Derbyshire… there are many! Trying to avoid icy areas is obvious but also not that easy when the urge to get outside and run takes over. Therefore having the right kit is essential! I did have to invest in a lot more gear for the Derbyshire winters. One of the best purchases was some decent trail running shoes, as I previously only owned road running shoes. My trail shoes don’t keep my feet any warmer but are much better at gripping to different surfaces and they certainly don’t mind the mud, and have definitely seen their fair share! The right footwear is 100% worth investing in. I was recommended Salomon running shoes and I know they are a particular favourite with my fellow runners.

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I also swap my headband for a woolly hat, for me there is nothing worse than cold ears! I swap my usual running gloves for thicker winter ones, and I wear a running jacket over long layers. Not only is it warmer and shower proof but also high-vis. With shorter days and less daylight for running, stepping up the high-vis can’t hurt! I would recommend a warm snood to stop any of that cold air getting in and also if bitterly cold you can cover your mouth so you’re not breathing in all the icy air.

I also have a head torch for winter evening runs, again a very important safety aspect, not only do you need for visibility on the run, but cars and other runners, cyclists, etc can see you.

So with the winter weather in full swing, be sure to stay safe and stay warm!

Originally published 17/02/18

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