Fitness Travel

Running in Winter: Ultimate Guide

In the gloomy midst of winter, it is tempting to stuff your running trainers into the back of the wardrobe and hang up your gym kit for the next few months. Winter in the UK is tough – we all know that. The Netflix binge watching is beckoning, the continuous rainfall is pending and the wind blowing a gale makes us wonder: Why would you ever want to leave the house? Yet, it is always good to remember that sticking with your usual workout routine throughout the colder months will have many benefits. If you want to keep on top of your fitness levels and also eat whatever you want at Christmas, it really is a no brainer. You’ll need to get outside and continue to pound the pavement. To help you get organised for winter runs we have collated some of our top tips for running in winter, including what to wear and how to stay safe during dark mornings and evenings.

“When dressing to run in cold weather, the rule of thumb is to add 10 to 20 degrees to the outside temperature to calculate your running temperature.” States Runners World

Winter Running Gear

The main aim when you’re running in winter is to be seen. The mornings are dark and the evenings are even darker. First things first in winter is your running gear and kit. His-vis clothing is a must in the increased dark hours of winter as it will ensure that you can be seen by other runners and pedestrians as well as cyclists and motorists. We tend to see runners in all-black and yes, aesthetically it looks good but you need to think about yourself and your safety. Wearing black in dim lighting conditions makes you invisible and therefore vulnerable.

We have a selection of hi-vis clothing and fitness accessories to add to your workout gear including hi-vis jackets, reflective bracelets and hi-vis gloves. A headlight torch is also great for keeping you noticeable from a distance and it will help you keep the road in front of you in sharp focus at all times. If you’re running with your dog, we would recommend a hi-vis dog collar for them too.

Aaron – men’s waterproof softshell jacket in hi-vis yellow

Developed with high quality technical fabric that is waterproof, breathable and windproof to keep you protected in wet and windy weather conditions.

Main features include: Waterproof 3000mm, Breathable 3000mvp, Windproof, Taped Seams, No Detachable Sleeves, Front Low Profile Zips with Reflective Print, Dipped Hem, Contrast Panels, Reflective Detailing and Logo.

What is softshell? Find out more information here

Hi-vis Vest – unisex

The one size fits all with the hi-vis vest bib. Simply pull over your head and adjust using the adjustable tabs. Designed in a hi-vis yellow colourway for full visibility when outdoors in the dark.

Main features include: High Visibility Vest, 2 Reflective Tape Stripes, Side Elastic.

Winter can bring along some extreme weather conditions. Snow, ice, hail, rain and wind; they are all unfortunately prominent in the British winter and a combination of more than one can produce a very daunting environment for you to run in unless you’re kitted out properly.

Add a technical waterproof running jacket to your wardrobe to ensure that you don’t return from your run wet and cold. A lightweight and breathable jacket is a great choice as you will naturally start to break a sweat once you ease into your stride and you’ll want to avoid feeling warm and stuffy as well as overheated. Softshell jackets are a brilliant compromise in this case as you’ll feel the benefits from the technical materials with waterproof and breathable properties while still enjoying flexibility and freedom when you’re moving.

Trainers of course, are a must and you should endeavour to wear a pair that feel adjusted to your feet. Try and accompany these with a lightweight pair of socks that will support your feet and keep you comfortable yet blister-free. Fitness accessories are also essential – invest in hydration packs or running hats to complete your winter running wardrobe.

Unsure on how to choose your running trainers. Click here

Layer Up

We would also recommend that you layer up. When running, you need to build an outfit that not only keeps you protected against moisture but also feels light enough to wear during lengthy runs. A sound layering system will situate you in a happy medium between a stiflingly sweaty, messy run and one where you’re too cold to perform to your fullest since you’re too exposed to the elements.

When layering your top half, start off with a breathable quick dry t-shirt as this will help get rid of perspiration building up on your skin, meaning you won’t feel clammy or sticky even with other layers on. Over this, throw on a waterproof jacket as it will act as protective outer shell that keeps dampness and shivers to a minimum, while still being lightweight enough that you don’t feel restricted or weighed down.

It’s a common misconception that you have to wear leggings when it’s raining to make sure you are completely covered in the downpour. Wearing full length leggings with another layer on – such as waterproof overtrousers – can quickly lead to overheating and thus take away the comfort you expect from your running gear. Always take into consideration the temperatures you will be going out into and plan your outfit from there. If there’s a cold wind, add on a base layer set for a steady and comfortable supply of warmth.

Indoor Warm Ups

As we all know, warming up before exercising is important as it prepares your body as well as your mind for your chosen activity. It helps warm up your muscles and it gives you time to loosen up joints. When you warm up indoors, we would raise your body temperature to a light sweat so that when you step outside, it won’t shock your body as much and your muscles are less inclined to tighten up. If you have to warm up outside, we would recommend wearing a light zipped hoodie that can be put in a rucksack or tied around your waist.

Use the Buddy System

Everyone will admit to feeling a bit demotivated when it is pelting down with rain outside and the house feels so warm and inviting. To carry through with your plans and ascertain that you get out and go for your run, why not invite a friend along? If you make a commitment to meet someone, you will be less likely to forgo the run as you’ll have a black-on-white incentive to show up.

In addition, the long, dark nights of winter can make city streets seem less hospitable if you’re exercising alone. It’s always safer to run in pairs when it gets a bit darker and you’ll enjoy having the company of someone who’s on the same page and working towards similar goals as you.

Check the Weather

Although we encourage you to get outside and stick to your running schedule throughout the winter, there come certain times where you have to admit defeat. That point is when the rain is falling horizontally, the pavements are slippery with ice or the temperatures are so cold that your sweat will probably turn into icicles. You might be able to battle through the weather, but if you injure yourself by tripping, slipping or falling, it will take you even longer to get back out there than it would if you just put it off for a day until the weather improves.

Use your best judgement to determine whether the weather poses a simple motivational challenge for you to head out and face the general winter climate or if it’s too harsh and forbidding to the point where your safety is called into question. In the latter case, stay home and engage in other forms of indoor exercise to compensate.

So, there you have it – our top tips for running well into the winter. You’ll be proud of yourself once you’ve leaped over the seasonal hurdle with your running still a top priority!