Running Tips: Winter Running Gear

Running in Winter is at its heart not all that different from running in summer really - a focused mind and goals will keep you going, but cold weather and dangerous conditions can mean you need a change to your routine. Let's check this out now...

Runner on the road in winter running

One of the trickiest parts is just to muster up the courage to start your run in the freezing cold. As a human we naturally want to avoid such things when we can - so when you have a nice warm house with the kettle on and are looking out the front door to frosted ground and minus temperatures it can take some guts to actually get outside. 

So let's discuss the most obvious part of cold weather running. Temperatures can vary greatly in the UK, but over the last few years we've not really had a 'big freeze' as such, and on average the temperatures over the last couple of years has been around 5oC. 

What to wear running in winter

With this in mind it's best to try and get some running clothes that will help keep you warm. Your body will generate more plenty of heat whilst running, but when it's battling freezing temperatures it can do with a little help. Having a layer system is a good idea for athletes who train in all weather conditions say that dressing 'like an onion' is the best method. Start off with a long sleeve base layer that's designed with running in mind. This will keep sweat away whilst keeping you warm, and then add on to this a running top or jacket.

If it's raining then ideally you'll want this to be waterproof too. For your lower half it's a similar story - running tights or tracksuit bottoms will keep your legs warm and can be supplemented with shorts over the top. You will find however that a little while in to your run you will feel the warmth and you may even feel overdressed.

When this happens, you could simply undo your running jacket and wrap on your waist or keep in in a small drawstring gym bag on your back. Some people will skip over the leg tights and just stick to shorts - it's a little cold at first but once you're running it provides a great outlet for heat to escape your body. We should also probably talk about your head too.

There was an old myth that "most of your body heat is lost through your head" which was debunked a few years ago when it was found that rather 40-50% heat loss, the head only accounts for about 10%. You can wear a hat to keep your head warm but again you may wish to leave this part of your body unclothed to allow heat escape. 

You may also wish to get yourself from reflective or high visibility clothing too. Winter has much less sunlight and you may find that going for a run at 4pm it will be pitch dark by half past and you will need to ensure that other people - especially motorists - can see you. You can pick up high-vis vests to light up your torso or even just reflective bands you can wrap around yourself to let people know where you are. 

Now one part that I've yet to touch on - because it is so important - is your feet. Having a good pair of running shoes and wicking socks will make your winter running experience much better. Having some wicking socks such as these from Puma will keep your feet dry by drawing water away from your feet, but equally having shoes that allow your feet to breath, and are a little bit waterproof will help too. 

Something like the Cloudrunner Winter Edition is an all in solution, being waterproof, windproof and having a specially made bottom surface that makes it easy to run across rough terrain. They are rather expensive however, and you will probably find that any trail shoes will do just as good a job as they are designed for challenging terrain and are normally a lot cheaper.

So that's our quick guide to the gear you may need for running in winter - overall you just need to keep warm and stay safe. 

 


If you're looking for a challenge to take part in, then check out our listings for running events

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Running Events

History | Getting Started | Top Events


Running events are some of the most popular types of fitness events out there – and are one of the easiest to get in to, whilst being very tricky to master. Because of this, it is a great place to start when you want to get in to a fitness regime – but there is a lot more to it than simply placing one foot in front of the other!

Runners taking part in a running event


Brief History of Running

Competitive races are thought to have at first started (as with many sports) with the Ancient Greeks, though many other traces link it to the Egyptians, parts of Asia and many other parts of Africa. One of the earliest recorded event is from 1829 BCE at an Irish festival honouring the goddess Tailtiu in a series of sporting events known as the Tailteann Games. A thousand years later in 776 BCE, we have the first record of the Olympics in Greece, and this is likely where many forms of runs and marathons have their origins.

Since then many different type of events have come about – through the Olympic Games are still probably the most famous. Throughout the world events are held all the time from simple small 5k runs to enormous 26 mile sprints like the London Marathon.


How to get started in running events

Luckily it is one of the easiest sports to get in to – you just need to start moving! Starting off with small jogs and sprints is the best way to get started and then you can slowly start to increase distance to build yourself up to bigger and better runs. I’d suggest started off with something like a 5K as this is not too challenging but long enough for you to get a real sense for what is involved in the sport. You can read our article here all about how to prepare for your first 5K which will give you some more insight on how to get your training started.

Once you get started you will quickly see there is a lot more to taking on a run than simply getting out there and jogging. If you are looking to get serious then you may want to start investing in some good gear – a good pair of running trainers is the best place to start. You can also invest in a lot of other running specific clothing too though be warned things can start to get expensive.


Running Races Near Me

There are quite a lot of different runs to choose from depending on what kind of experience you are looking for, we list some of the best running events in the UK, if you know what type of event you want you can click one of the links below to find out more;

 

Fun Runs  | 5K Runs  | 10K Runs  | Half Marathons  | Marathons

 


Top Running Events in 2020

We have picked out the best events taking place in 2020. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Running Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.

Bournemouth Marathon

Although we have picked this particular event, there are actually 4 different events taking place at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival so you really do have the widest choice available to suit your ability. Not only does it have great options but also stunning scenery, it takes place along the coastline and also the iconic Bournemouth pier. We have been to the Half Marathon event before so check out our review here.

Find out more about the 2020 Bournemouth Marathon

 


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