Keeping fit and active during the winter months can be challenging, as poor weather conditions, icy surfaces and darkness can pose a danger to your safety.
Following these helpful running tips, however, will enable you to exercise safely throughout the winter period.
Sticking to a regular running schedule throughout the year is important, particularly during the winter months when your body needs to be fighting fit in order to stave off those pesky winter colds and bugs.
With less hours of daylight at your disposal, however, winter running often involves being out in the dark. Combined with snow, ice and poorly lit roads and park, running around in the dark can be risky business, as you can easily lose your balance on slippery surfaces.
As well as the safety risks, there is also the small matter of finding the motivation to leave your warm, cosy home in favour of running around in the cold. Thankfully, however, there are plenty ways to both stay safe and motivate yourself for winter training. Check out these tips on how to stay safe and active during the colder months.
Safety first, A Running partner
Having a running partner is great for motivation, as a few choice words can spur you on and help you find that extra bit of energy required to finish your run. During winter, however, it is also a case of safety in numbers. Having someone who can assist you in the event of an injury is invaluable, and will also help give you peace of mind while you’re running.
Alternatively, join a local running club and head out with other running enthusiasts – a great way to stay safe and meet new people.
Choose well-lit running routes
Reduce the likelihood of an injury by sticking to well-lit running roads and paths. This will help you identify ice patches and other obstacles, as well as insure you remain visible to other runners, cyclists or vehicles.
Always make sure you wrap up warm before embarking on your run. You may build up a sweat, but it’s no substitute for proper clothing. Wearing the right clothes will help protect your muscles from the cold air, thus reducing the risk of injury. Taking time to stretch prior to your run is also important in order to soften up your muscles.
Mix things up a bit by taking on some indoor activities, giving yourself a break from the cold while at the same time exposing you to different ways of running. Sign up at your local fitness centre and use their treadmills or indoor running tracks.
Motivation is key
So just how do you motivate yourself to go running during the winter months? Well, you could give some of these things a try…
Think of how good you’ll feel
Remember how good you felt after your last run? Well remind yourself of it when you’re lying on the couch feeling sluggish, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll feel motivated to get up and run. Remember, the hardest part is often getting out the door.
Set out on a run by promising yourself a treat once you get back. It could be your favourite dinner, a mug of hot chocolate or a bit of reality TV that you’d otherwise feel a tad guilty about watching.
Turn up the music
Everyone’s got their favourite songs that never fail to get the adrenaline pumping. Create a playlist and turn up the volume in the house and you may just feel inspired to take on that 10k run. Keep the motivation up by bringing an MP3 player with you and listen to the tunes while you run.
Just do it!