It's getting cold outside. Which might make you want to batten down the hatches and proclaim hygge your newfound religion but the colder weather is no excuse to stop running outside. So we asked Adrienne Herbert, former dancer, qualified personal trainer and founder of the blog That's My Mum, for her tips on how to keep running into the winter.
Get the gear
Having the right running kit is really going to make a difference when you're out running.
Make sure you prepare your winter running wardrobe with small essentials like gloves and headbands that cover your ears.
They'll take the chill of when you first set off outside which will help you get going and warm up faster.
Layers are also important; I like to wear a light gilet which keeps your body warm but leaves your arms freer for movement.
Schedule in a run to keep motivated
Even if you have to physically write it either in your calendar or in your diary.
If you've written it down, in black and white: 'Tuesday 8am run' then it's there and you can tick it off; if you don't do it then you're going to see it there and be annoyed with yourself.
By scheduling your run into your week, it makes you accountable.
The other good motivator is running with a friend. Also if it's starting to get dark and you run after work, it's much safer to be in a pair.
Failing that, pick a route that's well lit or join a running club, such as Midnight Runners
Incorporate skills and drills into your run
When you first get out of the door, immediately do a few mobility exercises.
Things like heel raises, calf raises, running on the spot or power walking for 60 seconds so the joints are warmed up a bit before you start hitting the pavement.
Once you've got running, stop every now and again. Not for a break but to work in skills and drills such as squat jumps, tuck jumps or walking lunges, which are great for strengthening the joints and also for varying your workout.
Find some steps and do bunny jump drills – where you jump with two feet. Or use a tree as your marker to do sprints.
To focus the drills on core work, use a bench for tricep dips or holding the plank position. Don't worry too much about the number of reps but rather set yourself a time. Start with 30 seconds and then build to 60.
Hill sprints sound nasty because they are. But all the more reason to work them into your run. I say to people to run hills at 60% of their maximum exertion. Then the next time do it at 70% and then 85%.
85% is not sprinting over 10 second period but it's pretty much as fast as you can run it.
And then walk back down the hill for your active recovery.
Cooling down is really important, especially in winter
You're going to feel really warm but you're still potentially going to be outside in the cold so make sure you leave time for a cool down.
You can do mobility stretches outside your house and also some static stretches but then also use a foam roller.
I swear by the foam roller. As a runner, it's probably the best investment you can make.
It's great for preventing injuries and maintaining your mobility.
Runners tend to just do the run, and then rush to jump in the shower, forgetting to stretch altogether, but it's just as important a part of the training.
How to work the foam roller
Start by working on your calves. Then lay on your front and work into your quads, hamstrings and your inside thighs - it's painful but it's really good for your muscles.
There's no real time limit but I'd recommend a minimum of 5-10 minutes.
It gets easier but if you're doing it right, it will feel sore, especially if you've just finished a run.
Just because it's cold, doesn't mean you don't need to drink water
Be mindful of your fluid intake. In summer people feel hot so naturally think they need to drink more, whereas in winter, people don't take on as much fluids but you still need to.
You still need to replace the fluids that you've lost from exercise as well as keeping hydrated even if you don't feel thirsty.
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