Thursday, 14 January 2010

Winter running

Some people might say that running round London in the winter is beyond crazy.. However, if you think that running in temperatures of around -4C is bad... think again, the competitors running the North Pole Marathon face temperatures of around -30C... Think again?
However, it's still bloody cold out there and above is the kit I where when I go out and its below 2C. It's all about layers and avoiding spongy materials like wool, cotton should also be avoided.. Clothing has to breath but still stop wind and stretch when you run. Material to look out for is Gortex ,Lycra and many other similar longer names of fabric.
Base layers should be tight fitting and that which wick sweat from your body.. I use Nike Pro Fit compression shorts and top - these also help prevent chaffing. Amazingly enough your legs - once warmed up - stay very warm in cold conditions - you'll get used to what you can bare, for me, anything lower than 2 degrees C and the tights come out - but i will still where the compression pants under them ;0)
Again with tops - avoid cotton and try to keep layers lightweight and wickable material. Gortex jackets can be heavy and uncomfortable but are very good keeping out the wind. The days are shorter in the winter and weekday runs are usually in the dark.. I bought a cheap (£10) fluorescent bib to wear so that traffic and pedestrians can spot me a little easier.. this is well worth the money!
On top I wear a lightweight hat which is good up to about -4C... Anything more and you might find this uncomfortable on longer runs. Bio-ear is like plasticine and moulds into your ear nicely - they stop the cold draft from getting in completely. Moisturiser for face and lots of Vaseline for lips and we are ready to go.
Getting too warm whilst running? On longer runs I personally thing you should keep clothing on all the time... I seem to go through a warm stage after a few miles but this passes and if i have removed clothing it needs to go back on - this throws my body temperature again and i'm in a constant battle.. best to keep clothing on unless you are running under 5 miles or so.. again, you will know what is or is not best for you... Remember, these points are from my own experience so they may not work for you at all. Thanks for reading.

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