While you may not feel like exercising in the cold, winter is actually the perfect time to begin building your base. This will help you when it comes to September/October and you want to really bump up your kilometres aiming for that goal you’ve got planned.
If you start to decrease your running load now, you may be tempted to increase too quickly later in the year risking injury.
But the question begs, how to complete your runs without freezing at the same time.
A few good little tricks are to do a solid warm up indoors to get the blood moving into the arms and legs.
Exercises such as mountain climbers or jumping jacks/star jumps can help to get the legs warm. You might also want to add a few little biceps curls, tricep dips in for the arms to get the arms and hands warm, we all know how cold our hands can get on those early morning runs!
The other option is to head outside and really rug up, beanie, long sleeve top, long tights and gloves and run 1-2km wearing this gear until you warm up. If you do a loop back past home around this time, you can drop everything off and then continue on for the remainder of the run.
Now that we know how to keep warm, we need to know how to prevent injuries while building our base throughout winter. The biggest reason for injuries is increase load (see our post from a few weeks back) or overstriding.
To combat these make sure when you are building your runs you DO NOT increase your run distance OR time by over 10% in any given run or any given week. If you are overstriding, which can be diagnosed with a running assessment, then a great way to combat that is to increase your stride rate (steps per minute) by approximately 5-10%.
When you are out on your run, make sure you run WITH the wind at your back to finish your run. There is nothing worse than running into a head wind at the end of your run when you are already sweaty as this increases the cooling effect on the body increasing injury risk. The other part to this is to ensure you dress for weather 5 degrees warmer than it is, this will also decrease the amount you sweat and limit heat loss in the long term.
The last thing it to make sure you have is a good headlight to illuminate your path!
So with those things in mind, you’re now prepared to continue your running in the cold winter months! 🏃♂️🏃♀️