How to get the best from your great winter run
Dark mornings, blistering winds, icy paths. Fair-weather joggers, look away now. It’s time to embrace the brisk, bracing art of the winter run.
Just picture the dramatic vistas, the fresh pinch of wind-whipped air on your cheeks, the chance to get up close and personal with the changing seasons. Three thrilling reasons to take your training to the great outdoors, right there.
But for those still seeking solace in the cosy comfort of the gym, we bring you our guide to wiser winter running. There’s plenty here to tempt away even the staunchest supporter of that indoor treadmill.
Plus, with winter running burning a shed-load of calories, you’ll be trim enough to enjoy all those trimmings with Christmas dinner.
First up, with winter running, protection from the elements is key. Don the right all-weather gear and you’ll be able to run faster, better and longer. Who doesn’t need that kind of boost to their daily dose of exercise?
Tank your feet...
Start with your footwear and work up. Winter jogging trainers should be mostly mesh-free to keep feet toasty and dry - and don’t forget to wear socks which keep your feet warm, while also repelling wetness. If you’re not quite ready to move on from your usual running shoe, investing in a pair of SealSkins waterproof socks will tackle the misery of squelchy wet feet. Because trust us, there’s nothing worse.
...and bolster your body
Next up, give your body some dual purpose armour; to allow skin to breathe and give you that all important insulation. The general rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is, so that you don’t over-layer. It will feel chilly before setting off but that’s a much better option than having to peel off those layers and tie them into an ungainly bundle around your waist half way through your run.
Choose a jacket with moisture management technology as well as wind-stopping fabric and - when trying the jacket on - ensure it gives you a good range of movement.
Dress in layers (with a thermal mid-layer for those dark days when the temperature drops below freezing) and remember running tights, with wicking socks to keep your feet and calves warm. Add a lightweight reflective jacket, thin hat and slather on a rich facial moisturiser with added sun protection, and you’re ready to run.
Extremities? Get them covered. Toes, fingers, ears - they’ll all feel winter’s bitter bite first, so make sure you’ve got adequate protection for those sub-zero temperatures.
With plenty of choice out there, winter gloves - like running socks - are made to wick away moisture and provide lightweight insulation, but newer technology means that they often feature spandex with gripping and thumb pads for your smart phones too. Who said that multitasking was tricky?
...and invest in your kit.
Gadget-wise, it’s worth investing in some seriously good apps - and there are plenty out there to get stuck into.
From the ever-popular Map My Run which records speed, duration and calories burned to In Your Stride, which gears you up for that big race you’ve been avoiding training for.
For those wanting something a little different, there’s always the Zombies, Run app, which is probably the closest thing you’ll get to an actual zombie apocalypse. Just listen carefully to your ‘mission’, collect supplies and speed up when they sound like they might be getting closer. Easy, right?
Baby, it’s cold outside - but that’s no excuse. Once you’re fixed up, looking sharp and ready to roll, winter running can be as exhilarating as it gets.