Winter training: It’s cold out there. And dark. And it’s only going to get colder and darker over the next few months. So, Irish runners are faced with that traditional lull in their training brought about by winter, but how do you keep running at a time of year when it’s not inviting? Here are a few tips.
. . . but not too warm. The gear is an obvious issue until spring, and base layers, gloves, hats, windproof tops and tights will be your friend. But dress as if the weather is a few degrees warmer than it actually is because you will heat up pretty quickly.
We recently saw a guy running with a high-vis jacket and a high-vis hat too. And this was during the day. If you’re heading out at night more regularly, attach LED lights too, and generally make sure you’re lit up like a Christmas tree.
Use the winter for sprint training
If you’re forced into shorter runs – 20 minutes here, half an hour there – then use it as an excuse to build in speedwork, such as some fartlek (different speeds) or tempo (consistent strong pace) runs. Unless you’re training for a spring marathon, distance work doesn’t need to be a priority.
Run during lunch
It can be difficult to get up and out, but if the only bright part of the day falls during work hours, then bring your gear to the office and get out before your sandwich. A running partner or group will help.
Enter a race
The Raheny 5 Mile is a great target at the end of January, or you could look at the cross country options for a new challenge.
Do something else
If you’re limited in the amount of running you can do, or even looking for a little break from it after putting in long miles over the summer, then it can be a chance to mix up your training with gym work or swimming.