5 Smart Changes for Winter Running Training
Make winter months a successful part of your annual training plan
Most of us find running in the winter months more challenging – it’s dark, cold, and always raining. It feels much easier to bundle up and stay snuggled on the sofa.
But with just a few changes to your running habits, you can make winter running a time of progress. Don’t just endure winter – make it a strategic part of your yearly running plan, so you make real progress.
1 Choose a goal
The fastest way to give your running some purpose is to have a goal. This could be a spring 10 miler or half marathon, or a 5k or 10k over winter. Maybe your goal is to join a running club, or to do a trail run. Choose a clear goal and get excited about it.
2 Work on speed
There is no goal which won’t be improved with speed work. Training your speed will help with weight loss, fitness, and (obviously) with your running pace. Dedicate one run a week to speed work: you could do sprints, hill sprints, or a fast-paced tempo run. Be brave and stick to it.
3 Add in strength work
Training muscular strength will bring a lot of benefits – helping you get faster, avoid injury, and even feel better sitting at work or in the car. Strength work doesn’t mean going to a gym if you don’t want to. Add in 10 minutes of strength work 4 times a week at home.
Day 1 Press ups
Day 2 Squats and lunges
Day 3 Sit ups and planks
Day 4 Bridges and superman back raises
4 Eat your fruit and veg
This might not sound like it has much to do with running, but the fact is that good nutrition habits over winter will keep you healthier, so you can run more often, so you stay fitter… you see the connection. Don’t let your fruit and vegetable intake drop over winter. Aim for 2 servings of veg with every meal, a snack of fruit, and choose fruit or berries as after dinner dessert. Cook up soups and stir fries, and get one big salad in once a week.
5 Stretch it out
Winter is a great time to add yoga into your weekly routine. Join a class, or use YouTube or social media to grab free routines which you can do at home. Aim for 20 minutes twice a week, or 40 minutes once a week. You’ll be glad you did!