It’s that time of year again.. when you never seem to run in daylight and staying indoors in front of a fire seems a much better option. BUT, we all know we feel 10x better after getting out there and smashing a session. Then you can sit in front of the fire, with snacks because of the calories you just burned.
I’m not exactly a seasoned pro at running in the A/W.. last year I was running probably twice a week! However, like most of you reading this, I have a goal that I’m working towards so need to push through these cold and dark runs.
I’ll stop waffling and get to the tips:
#1 – Go shopping
Shopping solves everything right? Get down to your local Nike outlet (other brands available) and stock up on warm running stuff. Even if it’s just leggings, gloves and a jacket. Not only will it actually keep you warm but it’ll make you want to run because you’ll have new gear to wear. Maybe this is just me but if I get new running stuff I want to use it asap. I’ll put links below of what things I’d buy/have bought.
#2 – Run before or straight after work
This might not be for everyone but running before work just gets it out the way. So when you get home from work and it’s cold and rainy, you can put your feet up. OR, you can go running as soon as you get in from work. So have your kit ready to put on and avoid sitting down, because once you sit down it’s game over!
#3 – Run with someone else or a club
Running with someone else or a club has a few benefits. Firstly, it’s more fun because you’re with other people and can gossip or whatever you like to do when running with mates. Secondly, you’re less likely to cancel a run because you’d be letting the other person down. That helps when you’re having one of those days when you really don’t feel like running. Lastly, it’s a lot safer to run with other people in the Autumn/Winter. I must admit, when I’m running round on my own at 5am and I hear the bushes rustle, it’s a bit creepy!
#4 – Give every run a purpose
This excludes those people who just run because they love it and don’t have a goal in mind. From my experience, running when it’s cold and dark is a struggle sometimes. So I want to make sure every run has it’s purpose and I’m not getting out of my warm bed just to do a standard 5k or 10k. Also, you’re more likely to get out there and do it if you’re following a plan or it’s a specific run that needs to be done.
#5 – Imagine yourself crossing the finish line of your goal race
This one might just be me but the other day I was so close to not going out and running. Until I started to imagine myself crossing the finish line in Paris. It reminds you what the early mornings and hard work is all for and can be the difference between a missed run and a really good run. I’m only 3 weeks into my training and I’ve already been doing this!
I appreciate that a lot of those are about actually getting out the house and running. So I’ve asked some of the Instagram gang for their tips:
Layers are key, I always wear gloves for the first mile or so and then as I warm up I tuck them into my belt or leggings. Hats/head bands are good for keeping you warm too and if it’s raining/snowing then a cap keeps the rain from going in your eyes. Also, warming up is more important because you’re going out into freezing conditions, plus stretching after and making sure you get into some warm clothes ASAP.
My tip would be to have the gear and have an idea! Invest in your leggings, your long sleeve shirt, but more importantly a running wrap. I use these for my tempo runs as when you’re breathing fast and you inhale through your mouth, the chill of the air is shocking and hurts your throat and lungs. Plus you look like a ninja!
– Join a local running club and Parkrun, to run with like minded people
– Go for a run early in the day to get the most out of the sun
– Always wear hi-vis when running in Autumn/Winter as it’s important that you stand out to traffic
Socks are the way to go, funkier the better!
My best tips would be:
– Wear removable layers like hat/gloves/buff, because even when it’s cold your temp goes up fast when you run. Being too hot is awful
– There’s nothing wrong with a 30-45 minute treadmill session if the weather is too cold. Practice sprints, tempo or threshold and see more gains rather than struggling through a long steady run in the rain
I hope this helps you get through the winter! Thanks to all the people that gave me tips to share and thanks for reading. Peace.