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Running Outside in the Winter


19 October, 2012 | In: The Training Room

As we move into the colder months, those of us training outdoors can be faced with harsh weather conditions and lots of UK personal trainers face questions from clients about the best way to tackle this. Here are some top tips for optimum outdoor training during the cold months.

Running in cold temperatures can rejuvenate your senses, boost energy levels and help shake off those winter blues, so it’s absolutely worth pursuing to keep your fitness levels up.

Wind chill can burn pretty nastily so make sure you layer up. A windproof outer layer will help the cold air from getting to you too much. Try a nylon vest under this so that as you warm up, you can strip off the layers as you see fit. It’s worth investing in some lightweight gloves during the winter months – this is true if you’re a cyclist, too – because you can lose up to 30% of body heat through your hands and feet, so it’s essential to keep your hands warm.

Make sure you warm up – seriously. In the cold your muscles can become tight so it’s definitely necessary to complete a thorough warm up before you head out to run – walking lunges and bodyweight squats are good for this.

Be seen! There are less hours of daylight and more rain and mist in the winter months so it makes it harder for drivers to see you. Wear hi-vis gear or clothing with reflective detailing.

Try not to run alone around unknown areas, especially if you’re listening to a personal stereo. Find a running group and stick with them – you know what they say about safety in numbers. Additionally, running with a group could help motivate you to keep going when you feel like giving up. We all know how miserable the winter months can be and the thought of running in sleet after a hard slog at work can seem like the last thing you would want to do, but knowing that others are also persisting with it can spark competition inside you, which is a great driving factor.

Finally, don’t be put off by the cold. It can be a bit of a bite at first, but once you’ve warmed up, you’ll soon find that the cold quickly stops affecting you as much as you first thought.

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