The time has come again when you usually leave work in the dark, your weaker self is particularly strong and you actually want to go straight to the couch.
But there are reasons not to do just that. Fit people are made in winter and not in summer. Those who persevere and focus now will above all have fun in the sport and be proud of themselves.
Running in the cold season – tips on what to watch out for
With the cold temperatures it is important to pay more attention than usual to the warm up and also the cool down. The body is prepared for the “more extreme” stress and the risk of injury can be somewhat minimized. Stretching after the run should take place in a warm place (e.g. stairwell), otherwise there is a risk of cooling down.
Drinking water is just as important in winter as it is in summer. This means that even if you are not thirsty, make sure you are drinking enough fluids. The drinks shouldn’t be too cold. It is much better to use lukewarm water or tea.
A good choice of shoes is worth its weight in gold, especially when there is a risk of slipping and mud. Wear shoes with a profile and it makes sense not to run off-road. You can also adapt the step technique by taking smaller steps and placing your entire foot on the floor. This gives you a better grip.
Not too much clothes
When you start walking you should still feel a little cold, then you are properly dressed. Better to choose several thin and breathable layers based on the onion peel principle. The air between the layers stores more heat and optimally transports moisture away. Thicker clothing is not recommended as it will make you sweat very quickly.
In the cold season it is better to breathe through your nose and protect your mouth with a scarf. The cold air stresses the bronchi, mucous membranes and lungs. The air heats up through the scarf or other protection. However, breathing through the nose has the disadvantage that too little oxygen is absorbed at high running intensities/intervals. Therefore, you should better avoid intensive units. From a temperature of minus 10 degrees, it is advisable to move the training indoors.
Common cold – what to do?
Anyone who is sick should stop. Most runners find it difficult to take a break, but it doesn’t get any better. In the worst case, there is unfortunately a risk of heart muscle inflammation. So it’s better to shift down a gear, but easy walks in the fresh air are always good. Anyone who is afraid that their performance will collapse can be reassured, because it will not. Within a few days you are running on the same level again.
How do you motivate yourself to go running?
The question is not always easy to answer, especially when it is really wet, dark and cold outside. But the feeling after a run, especially in the uncomfortable weather, is a great motivation. Afterwards, treat yourself to a hot shower, chocolate, or good meal and you’ll feel great. The feeling of having moved is always a great help and remember that you are doing something for your health.
Which running equipment is important in winter
- A headlamp is essential when running in winter. This enables you to identify tripping hazards in good time. If you have to get used to wearing headlamps, also due to the higher movement of the light cone on your head, you should try chest lamps with belts as an alternative.
- Light functional clothing, ideally with reflectors or in neon colors, support the visibility and safety of the runner.
- Thermotights protect against the wind and are comfortable.
- A running hat and gloves are important because most of the heat is lost on the head and the hands are often cold.
- For beginners, it makes sense to start running early in autumn, because then you are better off staying tuned. Those who start early will gradually get the body used to the cold. It is then no longer that bad to run outside on a regular basis. It is much harder to keep up with runners who are late for regular training and winter is already well underway.