As any keen runner will tell you, winter is a great time to make progress on your PBs: cooler temperatures make for ideal running conditions without the overheating that can blight your summer regime, and running is also one of the easiest and most accessible forms of sport. All you need is the right attitude and a desire to get out and go – but with nights drawing in and greater chances of wind and rain, it’s also important to make sure you’ve got suitable kit.
Lucy Hurn, Personal Trainer and blogger at Feel Fit with Lucy has some sound advice on what to wear when you venture out on your next winter run. But before you even think about pounding the pavements, park or trail, don’t forget to warm up and do some stretches to help protect you from injury: check out Lucy’s latest video for some simple pre-run stretching exercises.
Lucy’s Winter Running Tips
During winter the sun sets well before ‘close of play’ for those on a 9-5 working routine, so for many of us that often means running in the dark. Stay safe by lighting up the night in as much hi-vis kit as you can comfortably wear – or by accessorising with bold items like Lucy’s fluorescent headband by Castelli. Available to click & collect from Sigma Sport. If going out in the dark alone does not appeal, think about joining a running club or free group such as Parkrun, so you won’t have to go it alone.
Lucy’s top tip for tackling extremes of temperature on your winter run is to go out wearing lightweight layers, as you’ll inevitably warm up as you exercise. Body heat can become an issue even on a chilly day, so you’ll be glad of a sleeveless top like the Adidas Women’s Supernova support tank top, available for £25.20 at Wiggle.
Combine a vest top like this with a streamlined long-sleeved top like this zip-up piece by Under Armour at John Lewis which keeps heat circulating beneath the fabric, and you’ll be more comfortable as you cool down and warm up.
You won’t always need a jacket on your winter runs, so save this one for the coldest days or on occasions when you’re going to be taking on rain or windy conditions. Sportful’s windproof, waterproof Hot Pack Ultralight Jacket, £107.77 at Wiggle, is loved by many serious runners as it’s so lightweight and easy to stash away: at just 50g and made from 7-denier microfibre fabric, it can be carried for emergencies at all times.
Now is the time to put away those flappy shorts: tights are where it’s at for winter runners, and Nike’s Epic Lux Clash running tights are a great choice for the darker season. They’re made with a high elastane content for good flexibility and support, and the cami pattern on the outside is reflective, giving you that extra stylish pop of hi-vis protection.
You may not always have the benefit of a personal trainer like Lucy at your side, but you can carry your motivation with you in the form of a mobile phone or smartwatch to play your favourite music and track your workout. Keep your hands free with an armband like this one from Outdoor Look, which keeps the screen visible so you can track your progress. Interval running is a great way to improve your fitness and increase your speed. You can time your intervals with this sporty-looking retro Casio watch, which is £20 at John Lewis.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to finding the right shoes for running. Every runner’s gait is unique to the individual, and the choice of shoe will also depend on your preferred terrain, the distances you tend to cover and – of course – your sense of style.
Lucy wears Mizuno’s Wave Inspire, which offers a high degree of cushioning and support, but it’s important to find out what’s best for your feed before settling on a pair. Many sports shops offer gait analysis if you’re not sure whether you need a stability shoe or something with a more neutral ride.
While the rest of your body might be heating up, extremities including your fingers tend to feel the chill when you’re running in winter, so it’s better not to leave them exposed. Lucy recommends Layered Linear gloves from Under Armour £15.61 at Outdoor Look: they’re fitted with touchscreen-friendly finger pads, so you can check in on your pace on your smartphone app while you’re on the go.
Finally, don’t forget to invest in a pair of cosy and cushioning socks that will withstand the most energetic of your winter exertions. Lucy wears Hilly Marathon Fresh anklet socks, which are £9.90 at Go Outdoors.
Shop Lucy’s Winter Running Kit
If you’re planning to take advantage of the cooler weather and start laying down some serious mileage, take a look at Lucy’s top picks for facing the elements. Click each item to shop:
Full kit list:
Castelli Viva Thermo Headband, £10 at Sigma Sport
Gore Running Wear Magnitude Beanie: £15.95 at Wiggle
Casio F-91 Unisex Core Retro Casual Resin Strap Watch at John Lewis
Nike Epic Lux Clash Running tights, £75 at John Lewis
Mizuno Wave Rider 17 Women’s Running Shoes, 68.99 at Chain Reaction
Under Armour Ladies Layered up Linear Gloves: £15.61 at Outdoor Look
Under Armour Fly Fast half-zip running top, £50 at John Lewis
Ronhill MP3 and Mobile Phone Running Armband, £13.38 at Outdoor Look
Adidas Women’s Supernova support tank top, £25.20 at Wiggle
Sportful Hot Pack Ultralight Jacket, £107.77 at Wiggle
Hilly Marathon Fresh anklet sock, £9.90 at Go Outdoors
Win a £50 Voucher
Ready to light up the night? To help you furnish your winter running wardrobe, we’re offering the chance to win a £50 shopping voucher to spend with one of our retail partners. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is fill out the form below and we’ll pick a winner at random.
Terms & Conditions
1. Only open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
2. This prize draw excludes CollectPlus employees, their families, agencies, or anyone professionally connected with the promotion.
3. The prize draw runs from 11:30 am on Friday 27th November 2015 to 18:00 on Friday 11th December 2015.
4. There will be one prize of: 1 x online shopping voucher worth £50. No cash alternative is available and the prize is not transferable. By entering, participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the rules. All entry instructions form part of these Terms and Conditions. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoters reserve the right to offer alternative prizes of equal value. How to enter:
5. To be in for a chance of winning the prize draw, you must complete the form on this page including an email address that CollectPlus can use to contact you.
6. Only one entry per email address will be accepted.
7. The winners will be drawn at random by Wednesday 16th December 2015 and announced on Twitter either on the same date or at a later date. The winner will be notified that they have won the prize draw by email and must respond to this notification within 5 days, otherwise the right to claim the prize will be lost and the promoter reserves the right to re-award the prize.
8. By taking part in this prize draw you agree to @collectplus posting a public tweet stating the prize draw winner’s name.
9. The promoter reserves the right to amend, alter or terminate this promotion at any time due to circumstances beyond its control. The promoter’s decision is binding in all matters.
10. The winners’ details (name and county) will be made available on request to those enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope to CollectPlus, 49 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DU.
11. The promoter can accept no responsibility for, and reserves the right to refuse, entries which are corrupt, incomplete or fail to arrive by the closing date and time.
12. The promoter is Drop & Collect Limited, 49 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1DU.
13. These rules are governed by English law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. DATA PROTECTION: All the personal information that is taken during this prize draw will only be used in connection with the administration of the prize draw and will not be passed on to an outside company without permission.
November 24th 2015 - by @CollectPlus