Don’t let winter stop you from running!
It was a pretty cold one, so you’ll probably remember the last winter. Even here in the UK where we don’t get the worst in the world of winter’s wrath, it’s darker and colder than the other months and this can affect our fitness motivation. Also, during the lead up to the festive season a lot of people are busier, so keeping fit takes a bit of a back seat!
None of these things are bad! In fact, I 100% believe that they’re all positives to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and here’s how:
In London I can still run around the city when it is dark. I avoid some of the forested trails that aren’t as well lit up, but other than that there are enough lights around to be seen. If you live in a more rural area, take a light so you can make sure you have a good view in front of you and others are aware that you are there.
Layers will help this. A t-shirt, a long sleeve and a gilet are the three main layers you will need 99% of the time (adding a waterproof layer if it’s raining or snowing!). I always follow the rule of dressing like it’s 10°C warmer when I run. Yes, that often means shorts and t-shirts because once you get going, your body will warm up and in the colder weather excess sweat will stay on your clothes and make you even colder. If you are going out after a run or stopping and starting then layer on top of your kit accordingly.
People always talk about losing their energy over the winter. If you want to run then run, if not then enjoy the time off. Our bodies aren’t meant to go-go-go all the time and often rest and recovery is more valuable than running through. Think of running as a piece of your life pie. If it’s usually 50% work, 30% social, and 20% running and in the Christmas season there are more parties to go to, more people to see so the social moves up to 40%, well then running will have to go down to 10%.
When I do get out running over the winter I always look forward to a warming meal when I get home. One of my favourite meals right now is a bowl of creamy tomato soup and a few Quorn Meat Free Best of British Sausages. I love these sausages and use them in a lot of other recipes, but on their own they’re a great boost of protein for my tired muscles.
Be flexible with your lifestyle and you will avoid burning out. So get outside, if you want to, and run around this winter. Remember to enjoy whatever you end up doing!