Thursday, 19 September 2019

Training | How to run all year round

There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad kit. So the saying goes. I've just started planning my race calendar for the upcoming months and talking to my friends they're surprised by the mid-winter race plans as well as the mid-summer ones. How do you stay cool in the heat? How can you stay warm in winter - isn't it too cold to run?

So here is my handy beginners guide on how to turn yourself from fair weather to year round runner.

What if it's too hot...
1. Carry water
Get yourself a running vest that has space for liquids and take some soft flasks out with you to fill up. Alternately try a hand held running bottle or take a speed cup and plan your run to include stops at water fountains/streams.

2. Use a buff
No I'm not joking! Dip your buff in freezing cold water and wear it round your neck - this will cool down your core which in turn will cool you down. This summer I got sent a UV+ one from the guys at Buff and I love it so much! It's the perfect multi-use running accessory.

3. Head to the trails
Find some cover when you are running and by heading to the woods instead of the pavements you're bound to save yourself a couple of degrees by keeping out of direct sunlight. You can also find a nice lake to jump in on the way round.



What if it's raining...
1. Wear a waterproof layer
Invest in a waterproof jacket that keeps you dry - test it out in advance so you know it works. Personally I'd look for tapered seams, friends recommendations and one that goes over my hips so the water doesn't simply all pool at my waist!

2. Pack dry clothes in a waterproof bag inside your pack
Make sure your clothes for after your run are packed away well. I use the bags that Saysky tops come in as they're fab and waterproof.

3. Try a cap
Sun hat you say? In the rain?! It sounds counterintuitive but I don't mind getting wet if I can still see where I'm going. I find wearing a trucker style caps keeps the water out of my eyes and helps me keep plodding forward.



What if it's cold...
1. Layers are key
Rather than wearing one really thick top, try wearing multiple layers. This will trap pockets of air in between the layers keeping you warm and makes it much easier to regulate your temperature as you are out and about by adding/removing tops.

2. It's all about the dry sports bra
The time I get really cold is at the end of a run and the one killer is the wet sports bra. You've been running, you've got sweaty now get that soggy offender off and put on a dry one from your pack. It makes the crucial difference for me between staying warm at the end and getting really chilly.

3. Heat from the inside out
If you get really cold remember it's about heating from the inside out: grab a hot chocolate, drink some soup, get some tea down you just get the warmth inside you and slowly the rest of you will start to come back to reality.



What if it's dark...
1. Make it light
Use a headtorch and light up the places you are running.

2. Make yourself light
In cities one of the biggest dangers is staying visible to cars so wear high vis clothing, consider wearing a headtorch with a rear red light and even try wearing additional lights on your body as relevant to the safety of the place you are running in.

3. Make yourself loud
Unfortunately in recent years we've seen an increase in attacks on, particularly, female runners. Consider taking a rape alarm equivalent with you on your run or using an app like Strava's live tracker so people know where you are both online and offline.



What if it's snowing or hailing or there is thunder?
1. Snow
Grip is key and on pavements that's really tough. Slow down, wear shoes with big lugs, walk as necessary and consider sticking to easy trails.

2. Hail
Wait it out. Hail storms don't last long so take shelter and wait for it to past - it's not worth it!

3. Thunder
It's dangerous to be out in the open in a thunderstorm so don't go running. If you're out already make sure you know what to do. Simply: stay low, out in the open, away from metal. There is a great guide on the Ramblers website here: https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/safety/thunder-and-lightning.aspx



All in all: have fun, stay safe and keep on adventuring!

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