- Wear high visibility clothing. Be seen or, well, be squashed potentially. With the winter sun setting before most people leave work it’s highly likely that you’ll often be running in the dark during these months so it’s important to make yourself easy to spot for other road users to avoid nasty accidents. Although some sports shoes and running gear can contain reflective parts, high visibility clothing really is a must if you want to be seen to be safe.
- Don’t be a victim. Road safety isn’t the only concern; you also need to consider other potential dangers to your personal safety. Try to run with a buddy, tell someone when and where you are going, vary your routes while staying within well-lit areas, and avoid deserted places. Taking a mobile phone and some money is always a good idea, in case you need to be picked up or take a bus home.
- Stay warm and dry. Layering your running clothing is important in winter, as it means you can take off layers to avoid sweating too much and losing vital body heat. You’ll warm up quite quickly, so if you’re leaving the house toasty warm, you’ve probably got too much on – it’s best to start off feeling slightly chilly. Running gear specialist Brett Bannister from SportsShoes.com says: ‘Remember, you’ll need extra motivation in winter, so getting this right will give you that extra push. The hardest bit is getting yourself outside of your warm indoor environment, but once you’ve done it, you’ll never come back feeling worse.’ A long-sleeved running top and running tights topped off with a wind-proof jacket, hat and gloves make for a good winter running wardrobe. Go for light-weight, breathable, windproof, waterproof fabrics that draw moisture away from your body. Look out for compression clothing – form-fitting garments which do this, while also keeping your muscles warm to prevent strain. Professional sports people everywhere, from footballers to athletes, are now wearing it.
- Avoid bad smells. As winter running often means getting caught in the rain, extra attention should be paid to your running shoes so that a) they do not smell revolting b) they will last longer and c) you avoid a cold! There are three things you can do to avoid these from happening;
- After running clean damp running shoes with a cloth and remove the insoles for airing so that smells are eliminated.
- Stuff shoes with newspaper so that moisture from inside is absorbed by paper which can by thrown away, rather than staying in the shoe.
- Always wear proper running socks too, as these repel wetness from your feet, keeping them warm inside the shoe.
So, although running in the winter can be a rejuvenating experience, you need to be aware to make it a safe and enjoyable one. Make sure you’re visible, let somebody know your route, stay warm and dry and, above all, enjoy it!
For more running tips and product information please see SportsShoes.com