During the winter, keeping the miles going through the legs can be a bit of challenge with dark mornings and evenings, inclement weather and a major lack of motivation. When you want motivation, I tell myself the number of calories that I will burn and the fact others aren’t putting in the work during the winter so I will be in better shape than them come the new year.
Dealing with the weather is easy, it is simply buy the right kit for the weather. Similar to cycling, the secret is to buy the right clothing for the winter and autumn running, this will make the environment a lot more pleasant to the point that you embrace the mix of weather between October and March. I was someone who hated going out in the cold, wind or rain for a run, but the right clothing made the difference. My suggestions for clothing:
- A running jacket: Buy yourself a good running jacket that is waterproof, windproof and breathable. Also make sure it is high vis or has some high visibility built in, this will help on those dark winter runs for drivers and cyclists to be able to see you. Try sportshoes.com and sweatshop for some deals. A good one is Saucony . Make sure it has pockets for iPod and keys.
- A running baseball cap: The difference having a baseball cap, especially when running in the rain, can make is unbelievable. It keeps the rain away from your eyes and makes the rain feel less of a challenge. Again make sure its breathable and adjustable. Nike as a good running
- Running leggings: Yes even for a man, running leggings are a god send!!! There are a number of brands who offer good running leggings, I run in Nike leggings with a pocket built in which is hand for the car keys.
- Gloves and hat: When the weather is especially cold a good running gloves and hat set is a good purchase. If you can buy a set that is hi vis, this will help especially in the dark mornings.
During the winter months I try to keep the miles ticking over and don’t worry so much about the time however to ensure your pace doesn’t drop off:
- Run some parks runs.
- Find a couple of 10k or 5k races to keep the competitive juices flowing
- When out for a run and coming home, sprint between lampposts to build up your speed.
One final tip, if you can arrange to go out running with a friend, this will make going out in the winter somewhat easier. Also tell friends or family where you are going and how long you will be out for, this makes sure you stay fit and safe.