Jane Kilkenny – Top 5 Winter Running Tips

When the days get cooler and winter is fast approaching it’s easy to start finding excuses to skip your regular run. Yes, it happens to the best of us and it’s far more common than you think, so you’re not alone when you think twice about an early run in chilly conditions.  I had always preferred summer running, until I signed up for an artic event and that changed everything!

The key thing to remember is that you just need to be a bit more organized with your schedule and your gear and you can happily run at any time of year. The other key consideration is safety, because you may be forced to run in the dark in the colder months of the year.  Being prepared and making the right choices in terms of equipment and running routes will enhance your safety and keep you clocking up the miles.

Tip 1: Choose The Right Gear

Winter running is all about managing temperatures, the air temperature and your core temperature.  When the air temperature is low, it’s important to wear layers and use the appropriate tech fabrics that promote breathability and warmth.  Running gear is so high tech now it’s easy to find items that you can layer up and remove when necessary, and a long sleeve top is easy to tie around your waist while you run.

Tip 2: Light Improves Safety

If you are forced to run in the dark it’s crucial that you consider wearing a headlight.  The most important reason for this is that it provides enough illumination so your path is clearly defined and you can avoid the hazards of uneven surfaces like pot holes and tree roots.  It also improves safety when you have a higher awareness of your surroundings and can see others.  There are some fantastic headlights available for running to suit every budget so give it a try. If you think a headlight will be annoying to wear try putting it on over a cap, you won’t even feel it there!

Tip 3: Always Carry Your Phone

Now this might seem a little obvious but in winter you should never leave the house without your phone, purely because you may need assistance in the colder weather and it also provides a great back-up torch if required. It also gives you options if the weather turns nasty.

Tip 4: Watch The Volume

If you love listening to music when you run you are definitely not alone.  In the winter months if you are running in the dark you should always have your music volume a few decibels lower because it ensures you will have a better perception of your surroundings.  Maintaining good awareness is always essential to keep you safe when running.

 Tip 5: Be Strategic With Your Routes

If you are running in the dark in winter you need to think about the routes you take.  Try to use routes that will be busier and well lit because they improve the safety aspect.  Even if you prefer to run at a particular time of day, you should think about the safety aspects of your chosen route because you may need to change things up in winter.

So put aside those excuses and keep up your outdoor running in winter.  Don’t let the cold weather railroad your progress and dampen your enthusiasm.  Just make a few changes to your running kit and be flexible with your program.  Spend a little extra time warming up in winter before you reach your comfortable run pace, just to allow those muscles to acclimatize to the conditions.

Always remember that you do have options if the weather is just too nasty to venture out as a treadmill run can be just as effective as an outdoor session.  A combination of treadmill and outdoor running is a great way to get the most out of your training and maximise your running opportunities throughout the year.

Have you ran with a safety light before, how did you find it?

 I’d love to hear your comments…

About The Author

Jane Kilkenny is a Health and Fitness Expert.

Jane has 30 years experience in the health and fitness industry.  She specializes in kids exercise and junior athlete high performance training.

Jane is passionate about changing lives!  She has a wealth of experience in supporting people on their health and fitness journey.  Coaching others to improve their performance, she works with athletes and clients across the ages. She has been a pioneer in kids fitness, specialising in this field since 2003.

Jane is also a passionate runner and coach, having competed in events ranging from 5km to ultra marathons!  Her favourite aspect of coaching is supporting athletes and watching their confidence grow, taking them beyond their own expectations in performance.

You can contact Jane via: jane@fitnessenergy.com.au