It is a given that running in the summer is a lot more motivating and pleasent than winter running. The gym can be a lot more tempting in the colder months but you shouldn’t rule out hitting the pavement or park because it will do wonders for your mind and body, and there is definitely something about an outdoor run that you just cannot beat! We have devised the ultimate winter survival guide to get you up and out even when its -5 outside..no excuses!
Wearing layers is essential when running during the winter… we recommend running in a warm base jacket like this LNDR one that can easily be taken off and tied around your waist once you get hot and sweaty. Wearing a long sleeve base layer underneath is also key as it will keep all your upper body warm and will make sure your arms don’t freeze if you do strip off the top layer. Remember, the first 5 minutes are always the toughest and coldest! But once you warm up you’ll be glad you laced up!
You can expect to lose a lot more energy when it is colder as your body is using more energy to try and stay warm. Be prepared and fuelled for your run, get a big, carb filled dinner in the night before to give you lots of energy and try to eat something around 30 minutes before your run so you can let your stomach settle but still feel full of energy. A good old banana with some nut butter or a couple of oat cakes and hummus will do just the trick!
Ensure you do a quick warm up before you begin your run. This is always important no matter what workout you do but it will even more essential before your winter run. Warming up helps the muscles ease into exercise better and will help prevent injuries. Warm up indoors if possible by doing some dynamic stretching and exercises such as mountain climbers or walking lunges to raise the heart rate before going outside so you are warm before you leave.
Wearing gloves for a winter run is a must! You will definitely want to avoid frozen fingers on your run as it can be very painful and distracting! North Face Etip Gloves are amazing for keeping your hands warm and protected from ice cold winds. A headband is also handy for a winter run to keep your ears warm, not the most attractive thing but it will keep your hair out of your face and ensure your ears don’t feel like they are about to drop off!
Run with a buddy
If you arrange to run with a friend you are much more likely to drag yourself out of bed because you won’t want to leave them hanging outside your front door in the morning! Running with a friend offers added motivation and welcomed company, and hey, a good natter too! You could even plan to grab a post-run smoothie and a snack after which gives you all the more motivation to get up and put your running trainers on!
Make it part of your commute
A brilliant way to execute a winter run is to incorporate it into your journey to work. This does require you to have showers at your workplace otherwise your colleagues might have to wear clothes pegs on their noses all day, but if you do this, it’s is a great way to get in some exercise and save money on travel! If you have tiring days at work and the last thing you want to do is go for a run in the cold evening after work then you should converting your morning commute into a run. If you happen to live miles away from work, even getting off a couple stops earlier is a great way to get a morning run in!
If you haven’t already tried it, Parkrun is a great way to motivate yourself to go for a winter run. Park run is a free 5km run held every Saturday morning at 9.00am come rain or shine. It is held in different parks and open spaces across the UK and anybody is welcome to join. If you sign up online before you attend, you can print off a barcode which will allow you to receive an email later on in the day with your time, this is a great way to track your progress and reach your personal best! If you find it de-motivating running alone especially in the cold winter months this event is for you, surrounded by lots of other people you will be more driven to complete the run and push yourself to the best of your ability.
Lay out your clothes the night before
As simple as this may sound, our last tip very effective, and once which our founder, Sadie swears by! By laying out your running gear the night before you are more likely to just get up and out. By the time you have faffed around trying to find you’re running leggings which could be in the tumble dryer or in the laundry basket and the rest of your gear, you could have been half way done on your run! If you wake up see your clothes you are instantly in the mind set of ‘yes I am going running this morning’ and have less time to think of reasons not to go. This one is so simple and if you are guilty of finding a million and one reasons in your head not to go for the morning run you planned to do you should 100% try this, just get up and out and it will be over before you know it and then you will feel amazing for the rest of the day!