We may want to start the new year by getting fit but it can be difficult to get out running in the winter weather. However, here are some top tips to help you get out, get fit and stay safe!
It’s dark by the time your working day is over or when you’ve finished home schooling the kids, it’s icy or snowy or raining, you’re tired and fed up but getting out is a great way to clear your head and stay mentally and physically fit. Set a time limit or give yourself a small window of time to get out the front door.
1. Tip: It is vital to see clearly and be seen
Lots of running shoes, leggings, socks and jackets have reflective strips, but you can also buy cheap USB rechargeable illuminated running strips, Its also worth investing in a decent head torch.
Photo: Catherine Jones
2. Tip: Find other people to keep you motivated
This can be hard during lockdown. Some local groups, like Hebden Bridge St Pol’s Striders, are offering a running buddying system for women. However, even if there’s no-one for you to physically run with right now, find motivation by joining virtual running groups. Do a virtual couch to 5k or join a supportive community on social media, download a running app on your phone, like Strava, which has a free basic version.
Photo: Rachel Atkins
3. Tip: Set yourself a challenge
This can be a personal daily, weekly or monthly goal – a specific distance or climb or speed – it doesn’t matter what your current level is, you can improve. But remember, only ever increase in small increments (10-15 per-cent maximum) to avoid injury. Many runners find virtual races a great motivator.
Photo: Ben Mounsey
4. Tip: Identify a future adventure or challenge you want to undertake
Your challenge could be as simple as to compete in or beat your previous best time in your local parkrun, to run a specific distance, to beat your time on a local segment on Strava. Plan your next adventure - think about what you will need to be able to do. Then see your walks and runs as working towards this and think about that whilst you’re out.
Photo: Simon Hulme