Running during the cold and dark months
Running during the winter months comes with additional difficulties like colder weather and darker days. Here are the things you need to think about.
Firstly, treat yourself to some brightly coloured gear, high-vis gear. I would also recommend adding accessories such as reflective arm, wrist or ankle bands. For running in particularly dark areas, a head torch could be a good option.
Colder temperatures can make your muscles tighten up, increasing the risk of injury. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and make sure you have as little skin exposed to the elements as possible. Underlayers, gloves, and hats should also be at the top of your shopping list.
If it’s dark outside, it’s crucial to plan your course so you’re running on well lit, flat surfaces – you don’t want to spend your entire run staring at the ground, looking out for pot holes and uneven surfaces that could trip you up. Also, make sure you take a phone with you and let someone know where you’re running and what your estimated time is.
Music can be a great motivator, but it also makes you less aware of your surroundings. You’re less likely to hear cars, bikes and pedestrians close by. So to keep safe, turn off the tunes, particularly when it’s dark outside. If you can’t face running without music, I’d recommend you turn the volume down or get yourself some bone-conducting headphones (check out Aftershokz).
If you don’t already run with someone else, now could be the time to try. A running buddy or group brings safety in numbers as there are more people to spot possible dangers, and help is at hand if an injury occurs. It’s also much harder to talk yourself out of running when someone else is relying on you
The only time you shouldn’t run (apart from illness or injury), is when it’s too icy. It can be hard to get out the front door from a warm house, but you won’t regret it.