In the cold, dark season you can still go for a jog outside without worrying about it having negative consequences on your health. It’ll do quite the opposite actually: running in winter increases fitness levels, encourages your defences, can be great fun and gives you lots of energy. A welcome change from the dry, overheated rooms that damage your skin, lungs and brain. Apart from that, the benefits of getting sweaty in bad weather are much greater than those of working out in spring. If you want to be fit for summer, you should run in winter. Let’s get to it! With these tips from our Keller Sports Pro Kati Prametsberger, you’re sure to beat any problems that come to mind.
Because of the winter weather, choose a route that’s protected from the wind, lined by trees and has a firm ground to run on. This means that you can avoid mud and puddles, reducing the risk of slipping. Keep an eye out for the snow conditions and make sure the path is cleared or has salt spread on it to prevent injuries. Apart from that, you should choose running shoes with a non-slip tread.
Don’t be afraid of the cold - if you’re in constant movement, there’s no danger of feeling it. Avoid interval training with passive breaks, as you might cool down too much. It’s better to choose an endurance run or Fartlek training, in which you vary your pace spontaneously. Start your run with a warm-up to bring your body up to a good working temperature. Functional running clothes with reflectors are highly recommended, as well as lightweight, wind- and waterproof materials that draw perspiration away from the skin, prevent you from cooling too much and keep you warm. Make sure you cover your hands and your head too - otherwise you could lose up to 40% of your body heat from your head alone. Apart from that, your ears should also be protected from the cold.
If it gets dark too early in the evening, switch your training time to the early morning hours. There’s nothing nicer than starting the day off with a breath of fresh air. Alternatively, you could wear a headlamp in the evenings, grab a running buddy and get to it. If you prefer to run alone, it’s best to choose a well-lit path. Avoid dark, isolated parks or forest paths and wear some reflectors to make you more visible to others, help you see where you’re going and keep you safe.
After your run, reward yourself with a hot shower or bath and you’ll feel completely reborn. The hot water also helps your tired muscles recover. Have fun training out!