As the seasons begin to change, so do our attitudes to running. With shorter days and darker nights, going for a light jog or a long run can feel like arduous work and is, at times, a definite challenge. You’re also more likely to suffer an injury during the winter months – but you shouldn’t let that hold you back..
Physiotherapist and Triathlon runner, Robert Waite from BMI The Somerfield Hospital, shares his top tips to help you hit the ground running this winter, whatever the weather.
1. Be prepared
The main thing is to always be prepared. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before you head out and then to make sure that you’re dressed accordingly. The key to running comfortably during the winter months is to wear warm yet breathable layers.
2. Waterproofs are essential
In winter, there will inevitably be rain, which is why waterproof clothing is an absolute must. A decent waterproof jacket can take running in the rain from just about bearable to totally tolerable. Running tights are also beneficial for added warmth on extra cold evenings.
3. Use your head
As we lose most of our body heat through our head, wearing a hat is really important for running in sub-zero temperatures. A hat will help to keep you cosy, whilst a brimmed hat is great at shielding your eyes from the rain.
4. Put your best foot forward
Take a look at your running shoes too. If you’re running off road, then it has the potential to be muddy or slippery, so investing in a quality pair of trail running shoes is a good idea and can help to keep you safe.
5. Icy conditions
If the weather is particularly icy, then you should consider your route, but also ask yourself if it is really worth going for that run. Could you go to your local gym for a run on the treadmill instead? Or do some core exercises at home perhaps?
6. Light up the night
It gets dark earlier now, so think lights and be seen! Wear Hi-Vis clothing and purchase a head torch so you can see where you’re going. Also when it’s dark, it’s important to plan your route well, so that you know the area and the terrain, as well as making sure you stick to well-lit areas for safety. If you can run in a group, that’s even better!
7. Stay hydrated
Even when it’s cold outside, you will still sweat, which is why it’s really important to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink water regularly, just as you would if it were sunny.
Whether you’ve torn your calf muscle, or want to try to prevent future injuries, you can contact BMI Healthcare’s Sports Injury Clinics. Our specialist team will thoroughly assess your condition, discuss their findings and together you can plan a specific treatment regime tailored to suit your individual needs.
To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337
or make an online enquiry.