Winter running how to stay safe

Running Training through the winter

Around 37,000 people will have received the news that they have been successful in obtaining a place in the next London marathon. For those people this means training through the winter in order to complete the 26.2 mile distance in April. Running is more popular than ever now, it’s a free way to keep fit even if you do not have a race in mind. Whether you run in the town or cross country, run during the day or at night there are some unavoidable risks.

Hopefully the following tips will help to minimise injuries and help you to stay safe during your winter runs.

  1. Run with someone else or join a free running group. In addition to it being safer it is also more motivating.
  2. If you are running alone then stick to populated areas and well lit areas and do tell someone where you are going and how long you are likely to be. If you are running in the dark then wear a head torch.
  1. Dress appropriately. If you are running at night ensure you can be seen, wear bright coloured clothes and/or a reflective vest or arm band. If it is cold wear a lightweight wicking fibre layer next to your skin and a windproof layer on top. A lightweight wind/waterproof jacket is also very useful.  Wear a hat to avoid losing heat through your head and gloves to keep your hands warm. Wear moisture wicking socks and appropriate footwear for the terrain.
  2. Take a mobile phone with you in case of an emergency. Don’t have your phone on display; keep it in a pocket or a small bum-bag.
  3. Ensure you are hydrated before you leave the house. If you are running for an hour or less then you shouldn’t need a drink during your run. For longer runs take a drink with you.
  4. Warm up slowly in the cold weather to avoid pulled muscles.
  5. Be aware of traffic and other pedestrians. If you have to run on the road always run facing the oncoming traffic.
  6. If you run with headphones try using just one headphone so that you can still hear what is happening around you.
  7. Run into the wind at the start of your run so that you have the wind on your back when heading back.
  8. Change out of your wet clothes as soon as possible after your run.
  9. Build up your running mileage gradually in order to condition your body and avoid injury.
  10. Shorten your stride when there is snow or ice on the ground to avoid slipping. Your foot-plant should always be under your centre of gravity.

If you are training for a marathon or even a shorter race ensure you have a training plan that is achievable.Stick it to the fridge and cross off each session as you complete it.

There are numerous running clubs that run a variety of sessions that will help you with your tempo, hill, sprint and long runs. A good running coach will also be able to look at your running style to ensure you are running efficiently as well as drawing up a personalised training plan and motivating you through your sessions. A running analysis is always a good idea especially if you are prone to injury. If you need any help with your running do get in touch Steve Paul our natural running coach may be able to help you

Don’t let the winter drive you to the treadmill

Anita Bond

www.thefitnessunit.co.uk

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