Winter weather running tips
As temperatures plummet across the UK, runners are asking themselves: How do I stick to the training plan when it starts to snow?
The easiest way to maintain your training is stay indoors and run on the treadmill- but many of us don't have access and a further proportion would rather punch themselves in the face than attempt on a long run on the dreadmill.
With that in mind here are our top tips to keep running safely in wintery conditions;
Ignore your pace and ease back on faster work.
By lacing up the trainers and getting out there you are winning - so don't put any extra pressure on yourself. Reschedule any challenging interval sessions and speed work, especially if the ground is slippy. You'll need to pay more attention to the terrain and those around you, so keep it relaxed and steady. It's not worth pushing yourself and picking up an injury.
Try and stick to the fresh stuff...or find a clear path
If there is a significant covering of snow try do your utmost to stick to areas of fresh snow- its significantly less slippy and provides a good workout for hips, calves and ankles. For city dwellers this might not be possible- so try and find paths or roads that are clear of snow. Councils are more like to clear roads by schools, hospitals and other public services first- so check these out first.
A simple tip, but incredibly, one which is oft-neglected. Make sure you layer up (layers can be discarded more easily if too hot!), if possible wear a buff to cover your face if the wind is strong and make sure you wear a good pair of moisture wicking socks to keep feet warm and dry.
Warm up indoors before running
Make sure you loosen up before you leave the house. Your stabilising muscles around ankles and hips will need to be ready so focus on these areas with multi-directional movements such as leg swings or circular ankle rotations.
Avoid running home into a headwind
If possible stick to an 'out and back' run, starting into a headwind. You really don't want to face running into a strong cold wind when you are a sweaty and cold.
Shorten stride slightly
If the surface your running on is uncertain make sure you shorten your stride slightly when running. This will give you more traction and make it less likely that you will slip.
Change your clothes quickly at end of run
Your core temperature will drop as soon as soon as you finish running so quickly make sure you get out of those cold wet clothes and into something warm. Make sure you hydrate properly (a big hot chocolate won't hurt!) and eat something to recover- you're likely to have burnt more calories coping with the change in terrain.