Home > Running Technique > Winter Running Tips

Winter Running Tips

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Winter Run Runner Winter Training

A winter run can have its advantages. The crisp, cool air can be refreshing and the quiet, empty streets can give a runner a feeling of blissful solitude. On the other hand, the wet weather can dampen a runner’s enthusiasm. Some fair-weather runners are reluctant to venture out during the winter months, but there are solutions to the problems a runner can face during winter training.

Those concerned about running in the dark should try to make time for a run during lunch breaks. If early morning or evening runs are the only option, try to stick to well-lit areas and wear reflective gear.

Bright fluorescent colours are better during the day, but in the dark go for white gear with reflective panels, as this shows up better in motorists' headlights. Attach reflective strips to the parts of the body that have the greatest range of movement, such as arms, feet and lower legs, as this will attract the most attention. Also, consider wearing a head torch to ensure drivers can see you long before they reach you.

Wear Layers

It can be hard for a runner to judge how much clothing to wear in the winter, as often he will set off feeling extremely cold and not long into the run will get hot and sweaty. Wear a couple of layers, one to wick sweat away and another to insulate the body, but avoid cotton as it retains sweat and will get very cold. If wearing a jacket, choose one that can be folded up and carried should you get too hot.

Traffic can be an even bigger hazard in the dark, so be extra vigilant. When running on a road with no pavement, face the on-coming traffic. Only cross to the opposite side of the road when approaching a blind corner, and cross back as soon as it is safe.

To stay motivated and safe, run with friends or other club runners when it’s dark. Fellow runners can drag you away from the comfort of the sofa when it’s cold and damp outside and running in a group is safer than pounding the streets alone.

Be Safe

If running alone, be sure to tell someone when you are setting off and when you are due to return, and take a mobile phone. Rather than tackling the same route day after day, alter the runs to make your movements less predictable. Remember there is little point in choosing a route based on the scenery, because you won’t be able to see it, so try to find a well-lit run with an even surface.

It’s okay to run with a cold, but stay at home if symptoms include a fever, chesty cough, chilliness and muscle aches. It’s not unusual for a runner to get a burning sensation in his chest during winter runs, but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s because hard, physical work in extremely cold air can trigger a narrowing of the airways. Try to breathe through the nose as much as possible, as this warms the air.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Jackie
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I would really like to get fit and am interested in joining the running club. I live in Swansea area and am a beginner . Please…
    18 November 2017
  • Kitkat
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I'm looking to join a club in the bassaleg or newport or cardiff east side area...ive previously (make that 3 years ago!!) Done…
    1 November 2017
  • Scooby
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Looking for a beginner running club for adults in jarrow
    15 October 2017
  • Karen
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi I'm looking for meet up with anyone in the Alfreton area of Derbyshire. I want to be able to run with other women in the…
    8 September 2017
  • EmmsB
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi, I'm looking for a ladies only running club for fun with the possibility of working towards a race or 2 in the Daventry,…
    20 August 2017
  • Tracey
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Looking for beginner running club in exeter
    30 July 2017
  • Bev
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    Hi . Looking for a beginners group in Swansea on a Wednesday. This is for two ..
    5 July 2017
  • Sandra
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I live in Thornhill in Cardiff and wonder if any of your groups meet in Cardiff or Caerphilly which is next town to me. Thankyou
    5 July 2017
  • I don't have one
    Re: The Women's Running Network
    I would like to find out more about joining a women's running clun/net9work for company and to motivate me to run more.
    11 June 2017
  • tina arthur
    Re: Joining a Running Club
    Hi Sue, I live in neath and I know it is a way from Swansea but I have set up my own running groups, one is couch to 5k which I undertake…
    17 April 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the RunningForFun website. Please read our Disclaimer.