Running during the winter

A few words of advice regarding running during the winter months.


By Maria Polyzou


We could say that for most runners, running in winter is more enjoyable as a type of exercise – compared to the summer months; low temperatures are considered to be more suitable for running than running in the heat is. 


It is no surprise therefore that most marathons around the world are held in seasons when the climate is quite cold, so that there is little or no danger of the runners getting dehydrated and also to assist them in achieving their personal best records.


What are the benefits of exercise and what should we do in order to enjoy safe running during the winter?


  • Running helps greatly in burning calories and consequently losing weight.
  • Whether one runs in hot or cold weather, doesn’t really make a huge difference, however, running in winter, does actually have some advantages: You need to work harder in order to remain warm, you thus burn more calories.


What you should wear?

In order to run in winter, you will need some accessories to protect you from the cold and also from the slippery ground.  The clothes that you wear should be comfortable and offer you flexibility, while your sweat should not get cold on your body.


Our aim is not only for us not to perspire too much, but also not be cold for longer than the first 10 minutes of our run.


You should wear a pair of windcheater leggings and a sports dry-fit top which will not hold in your sweat.  Over your top, it would be wise to wear a light sports jacket – the soft cell one preferably and not fleece.  This will keep you comfortably warm.  In case it rains, wear a waterproof jacket, which should also allow your body to “breathe”.  What’s more, it is vital for you to wear a cap and gloves to keep your head and hands warm.   


If you maintain the temperature on your head and hands, you will see that you can wear fewer clothes; this will help you keep your pace during training and not be cold either. 


Be careful though! Should you start running with a cap, you are not to remove it until you are indoors.  If you do, you run the risk of catching a cold.

Something most runners forget to do during the winter, is to replenish their liquids after their training session. Don’t forget to drink lots of fluids during training and immediately after it.  


Do an experiment. Weigh yourself before you start training and again straight after you finish.  See how much body weight you have lost and replenish that, not only with water but also with electrolytes which are lost through perspiration. 


And don’t forget!  Stretch after your run … you will feel better!


Happy running!

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