Running tips for winter

Running – Getting started or keeping motivated in the Winter!

Sportshoes & inov8-ambassador, Calder Valley & GB fell runner, Ben Mounsey, & one of CVFR’s press officers, Catherine Jones, have teamed up to write some advice on embracing the cold & keeping active in the cold & dark Winter months:

It is easy to find a million & one reasons not to get out – but our most important tip – Tip #1 – is to avoid making excuses! Even the serious runners among us find the hardest part is getting out the front door! It’s dark by the time your working day is over or when you’ve finished home schooling the kids, it’s icy or snowy or raining, you’re tired and fed up … There are so many reasons not to exercise … but getting out is a great way to clear your head and stay mentally & physically fit.

Avoid making your living room sofa too inviting, don’t say ‘I’ll just have a cup of tea first’; instead, be strict with yourself: Set a time limit or give yourself a small window of time to get out the front door. It can help to have all your clothes ready to go, & to start stretching whilst drinking that cuppa. Whatever you do, DO NOT sit down on the sofa! If you live with other people, tell them you are going to go out & ask them to hold you to it & nag you until you do!

Obviously, it is very dark out, so our Tip #2: it is vital to see clearly & be seen! Make sure you avoid only dark clothes! Lots of running shoes, leggings, socks and jackets have reflective strips, but you can also buy cheap USB rechargeable illuminated running strips, like these from Lightbox for £16.49 which you tie round your arms, legs, etc. Catherine’s found hers invaluable for running on country lanes at dusk & after dark. In addition, wherever you run, it’s also worth investing in a decent head torch. We recommend the UK’s Fellrunner Guide’s great article on choosing a good head torch.

Tip #3 is to find other people to keep you motivated. This can be hard during lockdown, although at present we are allowed to walk or run with one other person. Some local groups, like Hebden Bridge St Pol’s Striders, are offering a running buddying system for women. However, even if there’s no-one for you to physically run with right now, find motivation by joining virtual running groups. Do a virtual couch to 5K, like this one with the NHS, &/or join a supportive community on Facebook (e.g. Transform Your Running), or Instagram, download a running app on your phone, like Strava, which has a free basic version (runs can be recorded on a phone as well as the more expensive running watches). We’ve both met so many great people this way, & you’ll find likeminded people from serious athletes to those who are just starting out (& everyone in between).
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