When it’s cold and dark outside, a lot of runners find it hard to motivate themselves and keep training. But there are real bonuses to winter running.
You'll be fitter in the spring
Taking the winter off means coming back rusty in the spring and needing a few weeks to get back to top form. Runners who keep up their training during the winter stay fit throughout and can set higher spring running targets.
Winter races are real tests
As well as maintaining your competitive edge, winter races are also a much tougher test of your ability. Not only are you battling the distance, you’re also coming up against bad weather.
It energises you
Colder weather can leave you feeling more tired than usual, so it can be hard to get out the door and start running. But it’s not true that you’ll get more tired – running has been shown to actually boost your energy levels.
You get the best weather in the morning (most of the time)
You can never be sure, but experienced winter runners say that dawn is the best time to run. The air is usually freshest and it’s the best light of the day. On top that, it won’t disrupt your day.
You’ll warm up quickly
Even if it’s cold, you’ll find that you don’t need to wear excessive amounts of layers. Getting a good outer layer is the best idea – it can keep you dry and warm, and it’s breathable so you don’t sweat too much.
Check out the Gore Windstopper Jacket
You can be achieving goals all winter
It’s a good idea to set yourself a mini target that you want to hit by the spring. It can give your winter running a purpose and it can also boost your morale to look ahead to the end of winter.
It’s an excuse for new running gear
Using last year’s gear can also reduce your motivation. Getting a new set of trainers or a piece of apparel can inspire you to get out there and try them out.
You won’t let down your running buddy
Running in the winter is made easier with a partner or a group. Knowing there are others waiting for you can be the motivation you need to get out of bed. And on very cold days, it’s nice to be out there with friends rather than alone.
Difficult terrain helps you improve your technique
Winter weather can mean your route is more slippery. Your lower leg muscles will get stronger as they work to keep you balanced and upright. Make sure you also get the right kind of shoes, whether you’re road or trail running.
Bad weather toughens you up
Getting through cold weather gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Once you’re back home, you can relax and recover. And on your next run, your body will be stronger and more adept at dealing with cold conditions.