It's almost the middle of winter and unless you're an eskimo, some time soon your motivation for outdoor exercise is about to drop.
So the team at iRun have developed the following tips for staying warm and motivated during your winter running adventures;
1. Do it with a friend - while not a specific winter tip, everyone's motivation goes up a notch when you have a commitment to meet someone else. That way you can also joke about how cold it really is....
2. Layer up - in Australian conditions, a base layer and an outer layer is all you will need (we don't get as cold as some places Europe and North America in winter). Make sure your base layer is a light weight and breathable fabric and have a plan on what to do with your outer layer when you warm up.
3. Accessorize - there are plenty of great running accessories to keep you warm these days. Be sure to invest in a good pair of gloves and some tights. Beanie's can be great for extra cold runs and try some arm warmers if you're game. Money saver tip: You don't necessarily have to fork out for the top of the range compression tights to keep warm. There are plenty of running tights aimed solely at keeping you warmer, for well under $100 these days.
4. Race away - the winter months are often considered the fun run season. So what better way to warm up than use a race interstate as an excuse to get away. Pick any number of events from the iRun calendar in a state that is warmer than yours!
5. Brighten things up - chances are you will run in the dark during winter. Do your best to avoid getting hit by a car, by making you stand out. You don't have to look like a council worker, just wear some clothes with a 'scotchlite' reflective strip, which will make you look like a bike pedal when car lights hit it. You can also get flashing magnetic lights that conveniently attach to your closthing.
6. Start extra slowly - while we always need to warm up, winter is especially crucial to doing the old w/u properly. Straight out of bed on a cold morning and out the door for a run can be a recipe for soft tissue injuries. Try and walk for a minute or two before starting your run and ensure you are sweating or at least feeling warm before trying to run to hard.
7. Avoid cotton - technology has come a long way, including running clothes. Cotton is rotten to run in when it gets wet, so try and get yourself some lightweight tops to run in. There are oodles on the market to choose from, so you're best off going to a specialist running store if you can to get some good advice on what might be best.
8. Head wind out, tail wind home - nothing worse than getting hit with a head wind on the end of your run when you're sweaty, but still kind of cold. So if you can, start your run into the wind, then finish with the wind at your back, so you don't cool off prematurely.
9. Quick strip - your temperature will drop rapidly once you stop running, but you will continue to sweat. Make sure a priority after your run is to change clothes and dry off, it's all about recovery for the next run and preventing sickness.
10. Consume something hot - Aussie's love our coffee, so why not make it routine after your run. The heat of the coffee will make you feel great, plus will assist in refueling you from the run. Be sure to consume water as well, to keep hydration levels up.
11. Rotate your shoes - nothing worse than putting on wet shoes to run in. Try and get yourself multiple shoes to wear so you can rotate them. If you can only get your hands on one pair though, dry them out overnight by removing the inner soles and laces, then placing newspaper in them as the paper will help soak up any moisture in the shoes.