Living in the UK means that if you don't get out in all weathers, often you don't get out. To all the people dedicated/ mental enough to go out in all weathers, this is for you. Not quite feeling it? Read on and see if you still feel that way by the end.
Rain happens. If it makes you miserable about training every time the heavens open, it's going to be a loooong winter (or summer).
So basically you're not made of sugar, you're not going to melt and nothing *that* bad can really happen as long as you're sensible. Think of the warm shower after and that mega sense of accomplishment that comes with being out in the elements. Think of it as an adventure, more fun than a dry run/workout because it keeps you on your toes. Your kit will dry, your digits will thaw out, that mud will come off. If you want the results, you need to accept that you simply have to put in the work come rain or shine. Or use a gym.
Also, depending on how treacherous it's been, you have full bragging rights once you get home having survived..
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"There is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothes."
A lightweight rainproof jacket is useful, as are layers (just like summer training). Consider wearing a wicking layer or two under your jacket to try to keep you as dry as possible. If it's hammering down, those wicking layers ain't gonna do anything because you'll be soaked to the bone, but it's worth a try in the mizzle.
Obviously the colder it gets, the more you'll need to think about gloves, hats and warmer layers.
Good trainers are essential. They will need to fit properly so they can cushion and support your feet but they also need some flippin good grip. If yours are looking a tad worse for wear, this is a good excuse to buy new ones. Do not scrimp on footwear.
3. Lights and Reflectors
Moving on from clothing, we get to safety gear. Winter brings darker mornings and evenings so where possible, you may want to start training during daylight hours as opposed to going early or late to beat the sun/heat (the what...?) in the summer.
Use your head. If people may have trouble spotting you, don't run the risk of becoming road kill (especially if you live somewhere like Cornwall). There are tons of options to choose from, from flashing lights, reflective strips, clothing with it built in.
Think. If it's been raining a ton and you go running trails, it's going to most likely be muddy. Which is fine, so long as you're dressed appropriately. Bare legs clean & dry up quicker than clothes, so maybe 3/4 lengths or shorts are the way forward.
Think also about how steep your route will be. I don't much enjoy trying to run down a steep slippy descent, I don't think many people do. If you have the luxury of a few different routes, choose wisely.
If it's raining, the woods can offer some shelter which can be a godsend. Choose the upper trails though if possible because in theory they shouldn't be too boggy!
If you're running from your car and have to drive home after, always always take plastic bags for super-dirty kit, a spare change of clothes (right down to socks and undies plus a warm hoody), a towel and something to sit on if you're not gonna bother changing before going home. If you wear makeup, facewipes are a god-send for those inevitable panda eyes.
If you need to wash your trainers, use lukewarm water in the kitchen sink. Sometimes I add a little soap but not always. Squeeze as much excess water off as poss and leave them to dry upside down on a radiator, by a window which gets sun (if you're lucky) or the airing cupboard will prob work well too. If you don't get them dry in time they stink, so beware.
If clothes are *really* dirty, it's probably a good idea to rinse them too before putting them in the wash.
What do you think? Will you be doing any winter outdoors training? Are you a fair-weather exerciser only?! If you think I've missed a tip or two, let me know in the comments section below :)
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