Winter is always confirmed for me when I finally succumb to wearing full length running tights, find my gloves and consider my winter headband or beanie…
I actually look forward to the change in season. The runs in humid, sticky, draining conditions of summer are behind us and you can find with the cooler conditions, comes the ability to push runs that little bit harder.
Here are the golden kit rules for training in the autumn & winter…as we lay the foundations and begin your journey to the Brighton Marathon or BM10k!
Correct kit creates confidence
Many may try to ‘make do’ when it’s chucking down, slippery or blowing a gale force wind outside but I really would suggest investing in some quality winter running kit and let’s be honest, running on the whole, is inexpensive in comparison to other sports.
Base layers, long tights, a visible lightweight running jacket or gilet, running specific gloves, hats and headbands are a must. Be safe, seen and be warm this winter. High vis clothing is an essential and feeling confident that you can be seen makes the whole run or session safer and more enjoyable.
Cope with the wet, muddy or frosty conditions underfoot by investing in a trail shoe. A better grip and support will continue to make your usual parks and trail routes achievable and a pleasure rather than having to stick to the road. I know this means two pairs of shoes in your winter armoury but in the interests of fun, injury prevention and adventures, having both a road and trail shoe would be wise.
It’s time to also think about performance and recovery. I would recommend using compression calf sleeves like these from 2XU and even full length tights to help those busy legs. Good fitting compression clothing will boost blood flow to key muscle groups when running, helping you to run faster for longer. Crucially, compression will also speed up your recovery with increased blood flow and nutrients to tired muscles. Add compression to your wardrobe and reduce injury risks, improve performance and boost recovery…it’s simple!
As soon as you finish your run in the winter, remove the base layers and/or sports bra. Put on warm dry clothing and keep warm. Combine this with eating & drinking some recovery product and you are looking after that immune system, which can be lowered when cold and hungry.
Layer up…within reason!
Layer up sensibly with a quality wicking base layer and then allow the first 10 minute warm up section of your run to do its job. Ideally you will be warming your core temperature making the run tolerable and comfortable… if you keep moving!
With a wardrobe stuffed full of appropriate kit, there are no excuses when you look out the window in dismay. Remember as Billy Connolly once said… ‘There is no such thing as the wrong weather… just the wrong clothes!’
Above all else, look forward to some of the inspirational moments the winter can bring. Running through the leaves in the park or cutting through the frost on the ground, seeing your own breath, the first footprints in the snow, splashing through the puddles and that warm glow as you return to the indoors knowing you are a real runner who runs come rain or shine! Your spring marathon performance is built in the winter…