How can you stop the heat derailing your training routine?
Running year-round, in some parts of the world is easy, but here at Commen Athletics HQ in the UK, cold spells are inevitable — and we simply just have to bare them.
So, how do you keep the motivation up when the mercury plunges? Well, we’ve compiled a list of habits, tips and tricks on how to stay as warm (and motivated) as possible during your next cold weather training stint or winter running session.
Stretching is a contentious issue for runners, do you stretch before? After? Not at all?
That’s a discussion for another day, but either way, when winter running there’s no need to either prematurely expose yourself to the harsh winter elements while you warm up or stay out there longer than necessary once you’ve finished up.
To help you hold on to your body warmth, try to do your winter running stretches in the confines of your cosy home.
This one shouldn’t come as much a surprise, but it needs reiterating: It’s vital to properly dress for the conditions outside. When it’s below freezing, there’s no need to show off your “toughness” by dawning completely non-insulated clothing.
In fact, you could find yourself in a world of trouble if you don’t bundle up. Skin blistering, symptoms of mild hypothermia, and even (in rare cases) frostbite can all come from running without the proper winter attire.
Sometimes, it seems like not even the most padded and insulated glove can keep your hands warm. Well, if that resonates with you, it may be high time you pick up some hand warmers.
They’re the cure for what ails you when your hands feel frozen and they can last north of 3 hours. Consider stuffing them inside your gloves or put one or two inside your outerwear.
It may be tempting to run at night as opposed to in the early morning, but, during the winter running months, it’d be wise to capitalize on that solar heat. Running during the day will, also, help you get a hit of Vitamin D and dose of sunlight, both of which have been proven to help with seasonal depression.
If the sunlight is strong though, don’t forget to wear sunscreen on exposed bits of your face, too. Cloudy days can still beat down UV and UVB rays that can easily burn your skin.
-1 Celsius temperatures are already cold enough—but a strong wind can make it them feel even lower. Before heading out the door, check to see if there’s a windchill. And if there is, opt to swap your thicker jacket for a more lightweight wind cutting jacket, just like our Windig Windbreaker.
One of the physical ways to motivate yourself to run through these notorious UK cold spells is to blast upbeat tunes. Doing so has actually been shown to increase performance and stamina while running.
For an extra bit of warm weather nostalgia, loop a few summertime tunes into your desired playlist, helping (mentally) transport you right back to that beach holiday. If you need some inspiration, check out our bangers page for some killer tunes for your runs.
Having trouble mustering up the motivation to stay on track with your winter running schedule? Sign-up for a local or regional holiday race. This gives you a very real reason why you need to stick to a running routine, perhaps even upping the ante, so you can better your odds at getting the Big W, come race day.