Our Top 5 Winter Training Essentials
So as the winter’s months are here to stay, the first and most important item on our list is to be visibly seen when you’re outside running. When it comes to running outdoors, whether it’s out on the road or out in the forest it’s important for you to be seen. The three main options are high visibility clothing, reflective strips or panelling or the use of lights/head torches.
Our first tip starts with starting your run indoors by warming up inside before you go outside to train, it definitely makes the first few steps much easier. Alternatively keep your kit on the radiator just before you go out and it will be warm for you when you’re ready to go. If the outdoors is not for you then there is always the alternative of slogging your mileage out on a treadmill on those really wet days.
When it comes to the cold runs it’s all about wicking the sweat away from the skin to prevent cooling and increasing the access water weight in your clothes. Try wicking breathable fabrics to keep you drying faster and for longer. To prevent wind chill we recommend a good wind proof, and water repellent jacket (preferably with hi-vis) and a pair of tights or track suit bottoms. Additional winter must haves are hats, gloves and some thicker winter socks keeping your peripheries warmer, which will help you maintain your core temperature.
Winter is traditionally the road runners off season consisting of lots of long slow runs focused on improving endurance and accumulating larger volumes of mileage. To optimise your training it’s all about the numbers, being able to effectively track your Intensity (speed, total elevation, effort, percentage heart rate) and volume (mileage) you can achieve the specific training goals that you want to achieve.
Some of our training essentials we would recommend is a good watch with GPS data and heart rate monitoring, such as Garmin or TomTom, which will track your training in a simple to use app. For a more minimalist training (anti-tech) approach keep a training diary, write down as much information as possible for future reference. At Leeds Headingley we believe consistency is key over a quick fix – make consistent effort and trust the process that you will get faster and fitter!
Grip your Terrain
As the ground gets more cut up and muddy make sure you have the correct footwear on for the respective surface type. On a broader level shoes are purpose built so make sure you have the right pair of shoes for your terrain (you wouldn’t go fell running in your road shoes). Make sure you have enough grip using alternative types such as hybrids, trail or even fell shoes. Your grip will wear down on your shoes over time so make sure your shoes are in good condition and ready for the job at hand. When in doubt come and speak to one of our members of our expert team for some friendly advice!
Re-heat, Refuel and Recover
So first things first, get home and get your temperature back to normal to prevent small changes in your body temperature having big knock on effects. Do this by using a bath or a shower to return your temperature to normal and get on some warm dry clothes. If you want to speed up the recovery process use contrast showers (3:1 hot to cold), honestly not the most pleasant process but you will feel the difference!
The next step is to refuel; you need to replenish carbohydrate stores to maintain performance but also reduce the effects on your immune system. In conjunction with this protein to help growth and repair preferably animal sources, and if required electrolytes to restore any losses from exercise. To top it all off put on your compression garments to aid recovery and stretch and roll off an aches and pains. Finish with some Christmas classics such as Die Hard or Love Actually.
For more training tips: http://runleeds.co.uk/running-articles/runners-training-tips/
Good luck with your winter training!