As a virtual runner and still getting those miles in during winter, what I wear changes to try and help keep me warm! But what about the other little things that I should be thinking about? Tracy Griffen, a personal trainer from Leith, Edinburgh has written a guest blog post about winter running.
Running in Winter
A good thing about Scotland is that it’s rarely too hot to run... Running in winter is a wonderful thing to do, as you’re warm on the inside and cold on the outside! The focus is on steady miles, rather than speedwork (save that for spring), so enjoy the scenery as you go. Preparation is key and here are some pointers to help you run through this winter:
1. Reflective Clothing
Wear reflective clothing and an under layer that ‘wicks’ (that’s the term for fabric that draws moisture away from the body – ask in an outdoor shop). Investing in some good running gear makes things much more comfortable. Personally I opt for merino wool base layers (including socks). Some people feel the cold more than others, so experiment with what layers work for you.
2. Get new trainers
How long have you had your trainers? Perhaps reward yourself with a new pair of running shoes as an incentive. You might consider waterproof goretex trainers if you are prone to cold feet. Be sure they have good grip, too.
3. Light the way
A small light (either head torch or keyring torch) can be handy for dark paths.
4. Running alone
If you run alone, be sure someone knows your route and roughly how long you will be. Plan your route and chose one that you feel safe with.
5. Warm up and stretch
Warm up slowly to settle into a comfortable pace, and be sure to stretch somewhere warm afterwards. Always change out of your running clothes as soon as you get home to prevent your muscles seizing up.
Refuel after your run. A long soak in the bath with Epsom salts and a good meal will make you feel a million dollars. You know you’re worth it.
7. Watch what you eat
On a day to day basis, keep your diet healthy, choosing low GI option (i.e. oats, nuts and seeds etc). These are slower to burn and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. It may be tempting to hibernate with junk food, however these cause a peak in your blood sugar level then subsequent crash, meaning you’re less likely to get out running. Good wholesome grub will keep you going longer and give you more energy.
8. Replace those fluids
Keep on drinking water throughout the colder months - you still sweat under all those layers. Herbal teas, for example, peppermint, are great in winter. A homemade hot chocolate will warm you up, and protein and carbs in milk are ideal re-fuel.
OVER TO YOU
What do you do to help with running in winter? Leave a comment below.
Personal Trainer Tracy Griffen runs a fitness studio in Leith, Edinburgh. Established in 2005, Griffen Fitness specialises in tailoring programmes for busy individuals, including running programmes.
Tracy tweets @tracygriffen and is on Facebook /griffenfitness or check out www.griffenfitness.com You can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in having a personalised training plan devised for you and your goals.