Running tips for the cooler months with Sam Betten

by | Jun 12, 2024

4 min. read

Running during winter offers an opportunity to embrace the cooler conditions that contrasts with the heat and humidity of the summer of which we are usually accustomed to in Australia.

Come along with Brooks Triathlete, Sam Betten, for some pointers on how to maximise your running in winter. 

There are a few strategies and tips that can help make your time running in the cooler months even more enjoyable, so lets start from the beginning;

Stay Warm by Dressing to Conditions

It sounds simple however, one of the key aspects of winter running is dressing appropriately for the conditions. Layering your clothing so you can easily adjust to the cooler weather will allow you to stay warm and comfortable from start to finish.

When the temperature drops further, it’s important to not to forget about your extremities. A good pair of gloves and a headband or hat to cover your ears can make a significant difference in keeping you warm.

Safety during winter running should also be a consideration due to the typically later sunrise and earlier sunset times compared to summer. Wearing more visible run clothing will help you to stay safe and seen in the low light of dawn and dusk.

Don’t Neglect Hydration

Hydration is an often-overlooked area during winter runs because the cold weather can reduce your thirst compared to hotter weather. However, staying hydrated can be just as important in winter as it is in summer. The cold winter air can often be very dry and lead to dehydration. Additionally, you still sweat during winter runs, even if you don’t notice it as much.

Even though you might not feel thirsty, ensure that you are hydrating correctly during your run. Post-run hydration is equally important to replenish fluids lost during your workout and will help with recovery.

Take Time to Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up before a winter run is crucial. The colder weather can make your muscles more prone to injury, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of starting out too hard in an attempt to warm up quickly. You might opt for a brisk walk to gradually raise your heart rate and loosen up your muscles before starting your run. This tactic can not only help prevent injuries but also allow your body to get ready for the demands of running.

If you are planning on doing some faster running such as a speed, tempo of fartlek session, you might consider spending a little extra time warming up before the main intervals to ensure that you adequately warmed up and ready to perform to your potential.

Cooling down after your run is just as important. In winter, your muscles can cool down very quickly, which can lead to stiffness and soreness if you stop immediately after your run. At the completion of your run, slow down to a walk for a few minutes to gradually lower your heart rate.

Winter running is a great contrast to running in the warmer summer months, but it can require a bit more preparation. Dressing to the conditions, staying hydrated, and incorporating proper warm-up and cool-down routines are all strategies to ensure an enjoyable run.

Bottom line, the ideal time of day to exercise is when it is best for you. Although more research is needed in this area to draw a conclusion on exactly what time of day is the best to exercise, what we do know is that long-term exercise does in fact improve aerobic capacity, cardiac function, management of BMI, and strength. So, the evidence points to moving your body for overall wellness regardless of what time you do it.

Keep that spring in your step this season and embrace your Run Happy journey with Brooks Running!

Our writer’s advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition or fitness routines.

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