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Over the Winter months it can be a difficult time to maintain your training. Whether you train with a group or on your own it’s important to stay safe and keep running. Maintaining your training over the Winter can make a real difference to your running season over the Spring and Summer months.
Here are a few Tips to help you stay safe and get the most out of your training over the cold winter months.
1.  Warm up
With colder temperatures it takes longer for muscles and joints to warm up so during the winter expect to have a longer warm up before any quality training.
2. Invest in Winter Training Gear
Stay warm this winter with long sleeved tops, leggings and a waterproof/ wind resistant jacket. Hat and gloves are also essential. Two pairs of gloves can be option, especially if the hands are susceptible to the cold. Layering up with good quality clothing will make all the difference, keeping you more comfortable and less prone to injury.
3. Keep Safe
Be mindful of your surroundings especially when running in darker roads with poor lighting. Try to plan your route where there is good lighting. Ditch the iPod so you can be more aware of everything around you. Reflective clothing is a must and a good head torch can be a great buy if you can’t avoid darker routes.
4. Footwear
Make sure your footwear has good grip for the winter months.
5. Stretch More
With colder temperatures you will find that you need to stretch more. Just spending 10-20 minutes everyday will make all the difference.
6.   Build Strength
Winter is a great time to get stronger as a runner. This can be achieved by adding a longer run to your training, a weights session, a hill session or even doing a few cross country races. All these will make you a stronger runner.
7. Keep Hydrated
Keep drinking water even though In the colder months you may not feel the need to drink as much. Another great way of getting your fluids in over the winter, is with lovely homemade warming soups.
8. Avoid the Frost
On frosty days better to get off road and run on grass or trail. It’s too easy to slip on an icy pavement. It’s just not worth the risk. You also tend to run with more tension if your worried about the ice and this can lead to a strained hamstring or calf. Nothing nicer than on a frosty morning running around a park or playing fields.
9. Never Run with a Sore Throat.
If your throat is sore or any symptoms in the chest rest up and no running until your feeling better.

Debbie Matchett MCSP HPC BCPA

Debbie is the owner of PhysioWorksNI. She is a Chartered Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor and AIM Practitioner.
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