January 14, 2019
I came across a wonderful internet meme a few days ago that summed up how a lot of folks feel about winter running.
With a picture of a little black girl with a defiant glance (much like the ones I get from my own little girl) with the words reading…
I know I said I was gonna start running, but it’s cold outside and I’m not an Eskimo
Luckily this winter, well at least where I am in London we have had quite a mild winter…people were running parkrun in shorts and tshirts on Xmas day, one guy was running bare foot. so we really shouldn’t complain.
The thing is I don’t mind running in the cold…I have some inbuilt insulation you see, and the cold keeps me moving.
However, I have been hit with a dreaded case of the flu so I haven’t actually done any running since the 1st January…and boy am I feeling it.
I will be back though.
I am marathon training and know that I need to get back on track in the next couple of weeks if I have any chance of being race ready.
So back to the harsh reality of running in the winter.
Running in the cold when you are not used to the cold or running can be a bit tricky, its hard to get your kit right, you can find yourself either too hot or too cold, the cold air can make breathing more difficult…plus it’s just more desirable to stay at home in the warmth than head out into the unknown right?
But with all those new year resolutions (which I don’t agree with by the way), and goals of running spring marathons ahead here are my top 3 tips for staying motivated in the cold.
Tip Number 1 – Layer Up
The trick to staying warm in the winter is working out A) how fast you are likely to run B) how long you are likely to be out for and then C) which parts of your body are likely to get cold…and then dress accordingly. If you are only going to be out for 30 minutes chances are you will overheat with too many layers….so don’t go mad.
For me the most important places to keep warm are my head, my hands and my chest…so gloves, hat, and a buff are normally the only difference between my summer running and my winter running. If it is particularly cold I might wear an extra layer on my top, but always ones which I can take off and tie around my waist.
Head out into the sales and treat yourself to some new kit. The supermarkets often do wonderful ranges now with many going up to a size 20…the sports shops could learn a lot from these guys in terms of pricing and sizing.
Tip Number 2 – Dose Up
There are so many bugs around at the moment, and so to keep yourself in tip top condition and to ward off any nasties think about keeping your intake of essential vitamins high. Yes, a good multivitamin might do the trick, but actually, there is nothing better than getting what your body needs from the original source. Think about eating heaps of fruit and veg…its absolutely the season for soup. I also take an additional echinacea supplement to support my immune system…and lots of lots of water. And if you really don’t want to head out just think what a bit of winter sunshine could do for your depleted vitamin D supplies….I have a rule that if it is sunny in the winter I have to get out, even if its just a powerwalk.
Tip Number 3 – Sign Up
Having a race in the diary is probably the most powerful motivator for pulling on your trainers and getting out the door. Even if you have a race in the spring, think about getting some more in earlier in the year to kickstart your years activity. I swear if I didn’t have races in the diary I would never run. My next big race is the Winter Run…think this will be my 5th year, and I can’t wait. We will be having a massive Too Fat to Run meet up in the morning, and I can’t wait to experience the streets of London again in this epic event.
If you would like to join our Winter Run Too Fat to Run meet up, then head over to our FB event page and click going, we will post logistics closer to the time…but we tend to meet near Charing Cross Station.
With Penguins, Polar Bears, Fake Snow (or maybe real snow if we have a really cold spell) and live music around the course, this is a brilliant race to kick of your year, and with wonderfully supportive staff and loads of walkers, this is an incredibly inclusive race to get involved in.
Plus, since the first event in 2015 over 65,000 people have taken part, raising over £2,000,000 for Cancer Research UK and other good causes. It regularly receives incredible reviews from those who have taken part.
The 2019 event takes place on Sunday 3 February, starting from Trafalgar Square
and finishing on Whitehall by Downing Street.
See you there….