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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Running in the Cold

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Running in the Cold

Yes I know, it’s getting cold and grim out there but before you go sticking that puffa jacket and woolly scarf on, try and remember that within ten minutes of starting your run your body temperature will have increased significantly and you will most probably end up regretting those wardrobe decisions.

The old saying “Dress for the second mile” is great advice in my opinion, unless you’re only going for a one-mile run!

Get a few essential winter garments correct and you’ll find you don’t need anywhere near as many layers on as you might think. The key to feeling comfortable when out in the elements is warm feet, hands and head. This means making sure your socks, gloves and headgear are all running specific technical kit and not ten year old garments you’ve just dug out of the wardrobe.

Once you’re kitted out with your moisture wicking socks, windproof gloves and lightweight beanie, my advice is to just stick with two top layers. My “go to” running kit as long as conditions haven’t got ridiculously cold are a long sleeved base layer that is tight fitting with a standard technical t-shirt over the top. This is ideal for all types of runs as if you’re doing some speed work you can always push those sleeves up when things start to hot up.

I also recommend reserving the “man tights” for really cold days, your legs are always the first part of your body to warm up and tights can soon feel restrictive and unnecessary if the conditions really aren’t worthy of them.

So, that just leaves winter racing. The key here is to make sure you are nicely layered up for a decent length warm up but when it comes down to the main event just stick to the essentials. Feel free to keep the hat and gloves on but then it really is time to man up and get the shorts and vest on!

Cold Weather Workout

Pace Changing Tempo Run

The trouble with interval sessions when it’s really cold is cooling down too much on those recovery jogs. Try out this session instead which is a great cross between a continuous tempo run and interval training. Make sure you have an extended warm up before going into the session.

6 x (3min “on” / 3min “off”)

The key detail here is that the “on” intervals should be a touch faster than current half marathon pace and the “off” intervals are a touch slower than half marathon pace. I try and aim for 15 sec per mile above and below which means even during the “off” intervals you are still working quite hard!


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