Tis the season to be jolly. Jolly safe and jolly warm if you plan on running. It's colder, wetter and darker making running more difficult and easier to put off, especially when tucked up in the warm.
But winter is not an excuse for the running shoes to go into hibernation, so here's some tips for getting the most out of your running this season...
See and be seen. Alleviate any dangers of the darkness by thinking illumination on your evening runs. It's straightforward common sense to make yourself much more visible to traffic when running in the winter, so wear hi-vis clothing. Equally, make sure you can see where you are going. Particularly when running on country roads, wear a head light to lessen the likelihood of tumbling into a ditch or slipping in a pothole.
As touched upon already, make sure you wear hi-vis clothing. Also, stay warm, but don't overheat. The power of a simple beanie to keep the body warm is unrivalled. Do wrap up, but don't overdo it. You can quickly warm up running and those extra layers will be a burden midway through your run. Also wear grippy shoes and if going off-road something with some real bite in them. It's not the time for plimsoles.
When it's chilly outside, it can be easy to forget about taking on water. True, you are not going to sweat like you did in the scorching summer of 2013. But you will still need hydration, so don't neglect fluids.
Don't Wander Too Far
Stick with tried and tested routes and don't go too far off the beaten track. If you do like running solo then ensure you don't wander too far from civilisation. If you do get lost or injured, ensure you are near a main road or public transport or other people. Winter is not the time to be in trouble alone in the middle of nowhere. Ideally take your phone and a spare £10, just in case you need them.
Seize The Day
Yes, there will be the odd day when the rain is lashing down too hard, the wind is blowing a gale and the roads are better for skating on. You might not be able to run. But there will be other days when the air is crisp, the sky is blue and there's a re-assuring frosty crunch on the ground. Be flexible with your training regime. If a great day arrives, then go for it.