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Summer may seem like a distant memory, but you shouldn’t let the winter weather stop you from being physically active or put a halt to your outdoor running.
It is important however to treat winter running differently to the warmer months. Icy surfaces, darker runs and wet weather are just some of the obstacles you may face, but these can all be overcome with the right preparation.
Here are 5 tips for running in winter.
Stay safe and be seen
If you are running in the early hours or after work in the evening, it's likely you will be running in the dark.
If you are a lone runner, try to stick to areas which have street lights or passing traffic, so you aren’t running in total darkness. If this isn’t possible, grab a head-torch and get going!
Also, speaking of traffic, make sure you are visible to cars and other pedestrians by wearing something reflective or bright colours. Know your route before setting out and let someone know where you’re going if possible.
Look after your feet
Do you wear proper running shoes? It’s so important to make sure your shoes are fitted correctly to avoid injuries, and this can become more prevalent in the colder months.
Shoes with grip on the bottom become even more important when the pavements become frosty and wet in winter. Leaking, soggy shoes can also be an issue if you brave the rain. However, you can avoid that with waterproof socks or using waterproof covers on top of your trainers.
Layers, layers, layers!
Before setting out on a run in the cold, it can be tempting to layer up too much. However, remember you will be working up a sweat, and you don’t want to end up carrying a lot of layers.
Be smart and dress like it is warmer than it is - you should feel slightly cool when you start running.
Technical fabric to soak up sweat and layers with zippers are good to wear so you can alter your clothing as your temperature changes.
Slow your pace
Did you know that your heart beats faster when it's cold?
This intensifies the amount of strain on your body so it is much safer to go a little slower than you would in Summer. Keeping your heart rate in the aerobic zone (130 to 150 bpm) is safest, and even though it will feel slower than usual, you will still get the same benefits.
Keeping hydrated is associated with hot weather. However, it is also essential in colder weather too.
Even when it’s freezing, your body will gradually heat up and lose fluids through sweating while the cold air has a drying effect, increasing the risk of you becoming dehydrated.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run and make sure to carry water with you when possible.
Now you have the tips, get your running shoes on and get out there come rain or shine!
Read more from Han here.