🥶Our top tips for running in the cold weather🥶
Running in the cold can be a daunting but rewarding experience for even the most inexperienced of runners. There are certain things that all runners need to do to make sure they’re doing it in the best way they possibly can.
Below are our top tips for making your runs in the cold as beneficial and fun as possible.
1. Prepare better
Preparation is absolutely key to making sure your cold weather run is safe, enjoyable and beneficial to yourself. The last thing you want is an injury that’ll keep you sidelined for weeks, or even months.
Warming up is extra important, and there is no harm whatsoever in doing it indoors. Why not utilise the warmth whilst you can? Warming up is arguably more important in the cold as your muscles are more vulnerable to injury in cold weather, and nobody wants that right?
We recommend doing your normal warm up routine for longer and make sure you’re feeling extra warmed up before embarking on your run in the cold.
2. Get the proper gear
Getting yourself the proper gear is imperative to you staying safe, warm and active for the longest time possible. It’s not just about your shoes, all of your gear has importance.
Admittedly, shoes are pretty important on their own. Wearing winter running shoes minimises the risk of you accidentally falling over, in turn keeping you in of the game for longer (which is obviously ideal). Winter shoes have more grip and better weather protection. So a clear and obvious investment recommendation from us.
Other bits of gear are important too, of course. In the UK especially. Having a breathable but waterproof coat that can be whipped out at a moments notice is very important to you and your run. The good thing is, lots of waterproof, breathable running jackets take up minimum space and can be shoved into your pocket.
Under layers and really warm clothes depend not only on the outside temperature, but also the individual’s running temperature. A general guideline to temperatures is this:
Outside temperature °c + 10°c = your running temperature
Use this guideline and choose the gear that will be appropriate to where you are running.
Keep yourself visible too! It gets dark quickly in winter so make sure everyone can see you.
Lastly, keep your ears and hands as warm as possible. Nobody likes having freezing cold ears or hands.
3. Keeping it realistic
The cold weather can be cruel to your body physically, but also to your mentality. Keeping your goals and targets realistic is a must if you want to keep the cold weather out of your head.
If you go out there and try and smash your PB, you’ll only end up disappointed. Bringing your targets back a bit can make running in miserable weather more enjoyable and you will be more likely to keep up the efforts.
Struggling to improve your time and push the limits, have a look at our tips for improving your running speed!
4. Hydration Hydration Hydration
This one might sound obvious, but keeping hydrated is so so important. Keeping hydrated is important in the hot weather, but equally in the cold weather. Just because you find yourself not feeling as refreshed in the cold compared to the warm, doesn’t mean it’s not doing the same job.
Keep drinking water, even if you don’t feel like your body is giving you the signs and signals to do so.
5. Run with a buddy
This little tip is completely up to the individual. Running with someone else can be the perfect way to motivate both you and your friend. This is especially so in the cold weather. It’s far too easy to just turn around and go back inside for a hot cuppa when you’re only letting yourself down.
Having a buddy can also make it safer. Just in case something were to happen (which it definitely can in icy/cold/wet weather), having someone there to give a helping hand could make all the difference.
Keeping your motivation as high as possible on the actual run itself can also benefit from having a buddy next to you. Pushing one another to keep on going.
6. Know your course!
This tip is a two parter. There’s knowing the course you have chosen inside out, but also choosing the right course.
Choosing the right course is critical for a couple of reasons. Lots of running courses which were perfect in summer, may not be as perfect in the cold, wet weather. Knowing that the course you’ve chosen is safe in all weather minimises risk. The other reason it’s good to choose the correct course, is it can actually benefit your run. Looped courses tend to be better for running in the cold.
Knowing the course you have chosen, and exactly where it goes can allow you to plan pitstops. Pitstops can be important when running in the cold. They can be planned to end at your house or car, meaning if you don’t want to lug everything you might need on your run, you don’t have to. Being able to leave stuff at a safe place on your loop means little stress, and stuff like your water won’t become freezing cold and undrinkable.
Why run in winter?
Have you ever heard of SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that tends to pop up in the winter. If someone suffers with SAD, the NHS recommend they get more natural sunlight and exercise. Running is the perfect way to combat the winter blues, get more sunlight and improve your physical and mental health.
Check out this BBC Reel for more info on the benefits of running in the winter.Discover Your Next Running Event