Running in the winter

My journey with the love of running started in January, which is also when I started documenting the distance and time of my runs. However, when I started I was too afraid to run outside during the winter, so I stuck to the treadmill until the temperature rose above 10-12°C again. But by now my love for running has overcome my fear of the cold and all the excuses (I just completed my first run in 2°C weather) – but I know running in such a cold weather requires some extra preparations. So I’d like to share some of these preparations and some tips to help first timer winter runners.

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I know my set is not so colourful – oh well, at least my shoes are pink!

First of all, you need to invest in some proper winter running gear and learn how to layer them! Layers actually work better than one bulky piece of super-warm clothing. My winter running outfit has the Nike Pro Static Warm tights, USA Pro sports bra, an Under Armour ColdGear long sleeve shirt with a higher neckline, a Nike jacket (in 6°C I was still okay without a jacket but in colder weather it’s needed), a scarf and of course (Karrimor) gloves and headband. (Oh and one little extra tip: take some tissues with you!)

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First some light stretches then moving all the joints and getting the heart rate up before the run!

Secondly, what most people don’t take seriously enough: warm up! Even in the summer, warming up before workouts and runs is important, but it’s crucial in the winter. Your muscles and above all your joints need to warm up so they won’t get injured (and in case of the joints so the fluids will start to be produced inside them). So make sure to move all your joints (start from head to toe) and do some exercises that bring your heart rate up. Also, never underestimate the first warm up miles!

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Thirdly: shower and stretching afterwards! Nothing feels better than hopping under the hot water after getting home from a cold winter run. But make sure you don’t forget to stretch either: your calves, your quads, hams and glutes need a proper stretching session, especially if you ran a longer distance. Training itself is not enough and won’t take you anywhere if you don’t take care of your body with all the necessary, additional activities.

So if you’re ready, put your earphones in, turn off the world and just enjoy the run!

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