GET OVER IT Okay, bottom line: no one EVER feels like going outside for a run in the winter. It is crucial to get over this first mental barrier. If you are waiting to feel like running, you’ll wait till summer. Or possibly for the rest of your life. Not only are you never going to feel like going for a run during winter, you are always not going to feel like it.
GET DRESSED FOR IT and make sure you’re dressed appropriately. The most vulnerable body bits are the extremities. So, starting from the top:
- We lose most of our body heat from our heads, so failing to wear a hat when running is fatal at this time of year.
- Shielding the neck takes winter running comfort into a new dimension.
- Layer up with breathable, thin technical fabrics that you can peel off and wrap round your body easily.
- Legs: Wear leggings tucked into my socks. Our legs warm up the quickest for the obvious reason that they are in constant motion so no need for extra layers here.
- Gloves are essential. running gloves, or regular sheepskin gloves .
- Toes require a minimum of two pairs of socks; three when its sheepskin-glove-wearing weather.
GET IT ON Get dressed in the bare bones of this kit on your running days, your tops and leggings, so you are always ready. There is an hour in every day when the weather is bearable. Use that window for your run. Being run-ready means you can just get out the door, grabbing your beanie and gloves on your way out without any fuss.
GET A RUNNING BUDDY A freezing run on a Sunday morning with a neighbour or friend is a whole lot easier and Running with a buddy has the added bonus of keeping you safe.
GET ACCOUNTABLE Entering a race in early 2017 or creating a goal such as “I’m going to run three times every week and declaring it on social media”, for example, will help keep you honest. Whether it’s running with a buddy or a complete stranger via an online running community or in a virtual context, it all has the same effect – which is to help strengthen your resolve to get out there.
GET GRITTY Motivate yourself by the thought of that mince pie and glass of mulled wine the run has earned you that otherwise might earn pride of place on your expanding waistline.
To really enjoy Christmas, the food, the parties, the drinking, there has to be some serious exercise backing it all up.