In Australia, the winter months are usually the best time for long distance running. However, whether you are a novice or more experienced runner, running in Canberra during winter involves exercising in what can be an uncomfortable and motivationally challenging environment. The benefit of running at this time of year is that you can push yourself without too much concern about overheating, dehydration or cramping. But, whether you’ve been running throughout the colder months or are thinking about starting up again as Spring approaches; make sure you’re doing it right. To best prepare yourself, keep reading for some easy tips on how to manage running in the cold Canberra winter.
Tip 1: Layer up – Wear numerous layers on your upper body when you start a run so you can slowly shed the clothing as your body heats up.
Tip 2: Wear clothing with zips – Wearing tops that have zips means you can slowly let more air into the chest to stop yourself overheating.
Tip 3: Cover your extremities – Keeping the fingers, toes, head and ears warm is essential. Your feet should stay warm with a quality pair of running socks and shoes, along with gloves and beanie and/or ear warmers to keep the fingers, top of the head and ears covered.
Tip 4: Run circuits or laps – After taking layers off, you can tie them around your waist or by running circuit laps you will be able to drop your layers at the same spot each lap and pick them up at the end of the run.
Tip 5: Windy weather plan – On windy days, plan to run into the wind on your way out. Doing this ensures you have the wind on your back when you return; which helps with running technique when fatigued, as well as avoiding running into the wind whilst sweaty.
Tip 6: Cooling Down – Once the session is done, you need to gradually bring the body back down to a comfortable resting state. To avoid the body’s temperature from suddenly dropping (which causes the body’s soft tissue to suddenly tighten up and increase likelihood of injury) make sure you put a jumper back on and then complete a quality cool-down. After completing your work out, make sure you get out of the wet, sweaty clothes and into some warm, dry clothes.
Tip 7: Cross Train – On the particularly freezing days, it is to best avoid the risk of falling ill and being miserable for the entire run! Instead, swap the run session for an indoor cross training session; not only is cross training great for injury prevention and breaking up the monotony of running, but it means you can hide from the weather.
If you’re an avid runner and interested in taking your running to the next level, enquire about our Running Assessments or our Run Rehab Class run by Masters qualified Exercise Physiologist and two-time Ironman Dave Halpin.