Don’t. Honestly, that’s my first instinct. But, I love food, and have days when I sit writing and barely move. So, I force myself. I hate winter. I hate being cold. I hate dark mornings. It’s all horrible. So here are tips, from someone who hates winter running, to help make it bearable, and possibly even fun.
Hat and Gloves
My ears and hands really suffer. They get that cold, they hurt. Generally, my feet don’t cope well either, but I’ve never had much trouble running. I wear a big woolly hat, and quite thin gloves. I also have a lightweight jacket with thumb holes, which helps my hands. Remember not to tense your fingers, keep them loose to keep the blood pumping.
While my hands and ears freeze, my body gets hot quite quickly. So, layers are key. I rarely remove any, but it’s good to have the option. I wear underwear, with long socks, then running leggings, a long sleeve t-shirt, tucked in, another looser fitting t-shirt and a lightweight jacket. I have been considering a Gillet, or a padded jacket, but now we’re approaching February, and I’ve managed with these layers, I’m not sure I need it.
I’m not very good at this one. The only waterproof coat I own is a big winter coat. I’d boil if I tried to run in it. But, in theory, a lightweight waterproof jacket is a great idea. I am incredibly guilty of the “no I can’t run today, it’s raining” excuse. But, to be honest, I doubt I would anyway, I can’t handle wet feet.
Warm Up at Home
In warmer weather, I do a brisk walk to get to the park, which is about 5 minutes. Then a few stretches. Then I run. When I try to do this in winter, I end up having to run after a tiny bit of walking, because I’m freezing. Then I haven’t warmed up properly, get really heavy and tired legs, and give up. I then feel disappointed with myself. Next time I’m due to run, I think “what’s the point”. I am guilty of letting bad runs affect me.
Warming up with some gentle stretches at home, means you can start running as soon as you leave your front door. You won’t get time to get cold, and you can have a great run.
Just Do it
To quote Nike (who’s running app I use to track my runs). Don’t think about it, just get up and go. It won’t be as bad as you think. You might even find you run faster to keep yourself warm. After a few minutes, as long as you are well dressed, it won’t feel any different from a run on a warm day, and in some ways better than getting too hot.