Top Ten tips for running and cycling in the winter
The clocks have changed, the days are darker, and there is lots of rain and wind. Getting outside to train can be tough. Winter in the northern hemisphere can be challenging, but it’s a great time to train outside as well. The old saying goes; ‘winter miles means summer smiles’!
If you wrap up warm, have the right clothing and equipment, and adapt your training accordingly, then the winter can be a great time for training.
Most importantly, stay safe. To keep your training on the right tracks this winter, be sure to follow these top tips.
1.Wear the right clothing
Good footwear is essential for running and cycling in all weather, especially in wet and cold conditions. You should make sure you have good grip on your running shoes and if possible make sure that they are waterproof. During the colder months appropriate clothing is essential to manage the lower temperatures – wear layers that are warm but breathable, and can be added or removed easily. Also make sure that you are visible at night with Hi Viz clothing and lights. A bit of additional storage in the form of a running rucksack or waist pack comes in handy. Same goes for cycling where packable waterproofs and other items of clothing need to be stored in back pockets, frame bags or paniers.
2. Prepare and maintain your clothing and equipment
Jackets, shoes and other equipment can easily become wet and you’ll need a bit of forward planning to ensure that your favourite kit is clean and dry if you train regularly. Ensure your tyres have have good grip and consider having a couple of spares in the shed just in case. Choose your running and cycling routes based on lack of hazards like lack of lighting, leaves, standing water , heavy traffic and pot holes.
3. Warm Up
Warming up is key all-year round – but is even more important in the winter. Warming up prepares the body for exercise and reduces the chance of injury. It’s essential, so don’t skip this step. Equally, a cool down is also advisable.
4. Take a common sense approach
We’re not going to risk assess every aspect of our lives but when it comes to training in bad weather, think ahead. If you think there is a chance the weather might be too dangerous later or you have been advised against going out by the Met Office, then consider this in advance. If you fail to do so you could risk injuring or causing yourself serious harm. Always check the forecast before heading out and avoid going out or stay close to your home if things are looking too bad. Always tell someone where you are going and ensure that you have a mobile phone with you.
5. Cross train
Winter is an excellent time of year to try something different. A change is just as good as a rest sometimes. Why not do some strength training at home or in the gym? Your muscles will thank you for it come summer
6. Take it indoors
Apart from the cross training, you can carry on running and cycling indoors as well. Get yourself set up indoors at home with a turbo trainer to race on Zwift or track your runs on the treadmill to make them a little bit less dull. Nice to break up your runs and no need to worry about it being dark, cold, icy or wet.
If at all possible, try to get outside during daylight hours. We don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight in winter. As well as eating plenty of fruit and vegetables we should also try to grab every bit of daylight on our skins that we can during winter. Many people don’t take their full hour’s lunch break in the UK. Make sure that you do and get out if it’s nice. You’ll be far more productive in the afternoon after some fresh air.
9. Sign up for a 2021 event
What better way to stay motivated than having something to train for? Looking forward to an event is ideal as there is a set date and all your planning has an actual end goal. Many events are already sold out for 2021 due to a lot of roll-over bookings from 2020 but there is still plenty available with Sports Tours international.
10. Look after your personal well-being and follow the current Covid-19 guidance
Make sure that you eat a healthy and varied diet in winter and try to get a good 8 hours of sleep every night. Cut down on alcohol, coffee and fizzy drinks if you can. Stay hydrated. Warm air blowing in the car plus central heating really dehydrate your skin so you have to drink more water and other drinks are good as well like herbal teas. The regulations for Covid-19 change frequently and it is important to stay up to date with what you can and can’t do in your area. Check the current guidelines in your area before you head out and ensure you follow the guidelines to keep you, and others, safe and well.
Our competition with @EnglandAthletic from the May version of the Edge Newsletter send has now finished. One runner is going to the 2022 Rome Marathon.
Congrats Dominque Childs, you are our lucky winner. Our team will be in touch. We'll see you in Rome #RomeMarathon2022 😃🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/oOFHECNJRe