It can be tempting to wait for the perfect crisp running weather before you lace up and head out for a run, but British weather is famous for being fickle. You could be waiting a VERY long time…
So to help you get out there whatever the weather, we’ve put together our top tips for running in all conditions – whether that’s rain, sunshine, wind or snow. No fairweather runners here!
– Be seen, be safe. It’s always important to be visible, but especially important when it’s raining. Keep to well-lit routes and make sure your running kit is bright with reflective stripes so that drivers and cyclists can see you at a distance.
– Think surfaces! Trail running in the rain isn’t the best idea. Instead, stick to solid, smooth terrain. Increasing your cadence (the number of steps you take per minute) also helps prevent falls, whereas overstriding makes you more likely to slip.
– The right kit. When it’s raining, less is more. You don’t need a jacket or thick tracksuit bottoms – all those extra clothes will just end up wet and heavy. Consider a peaked hat to help keep the rain off your face, plus a t-shirt or vest and shorts or leggings as normal. And thin socks can help stop your trainers getting waterlogged.
– Don’t forget aftercare. Stuff your trainers with newspaper to help them dry out and change into a set of dry clothes straight away – a cough or cold could really put a spanner in your running routine.
– Be a weather watcher. We’ve probably all learnt a few tips on managing in high temperatures recently. One of the most obvious tips is simply to check the forecast and schedule your run for the coolest time of the day – usually early morning or later in the evening.
– Drink more water. Again, it sounds obvious, but it’s important to make sure you’re properly hydrated before you run. Make sure you rehydrate afterwards, too. True in all weathers, but especially in the sun!
– Slap on some suncream. A decent SPF and a hat are essentials – sunburn (or even sunstroke) poses real risks to runners.
– Adjust your goals. Be realistic – the hottest day of the year probably isn’t going to be the afternoon you smash your PB. Take it easier than you normally would – remember, running in the heat puts a lot of pressure on your body.
– Work around it. Decide which direction the wind is coming from and plan your route accordingly. If you can start with a bit of resistance but finish with it pushing you along, that’s a result!
– Lean into it. Leaning into the wind and keeping your shoulders relaxed can deflect some of the wind’s power and help you avoid injuring your neck and upper back.
– A little help from your friends. Running in a ‘pack’ means you can take turns shielding each other from the brunt of the wind’s power – yet another reason why running together is brilliant!
– Adjust your mindset. Rather than seeing the wind as an annoyance, try viewing it as something that’s going to make you a stronger runner. All that extra work has to pay off, right?
– Start slow. Snow and ice are some of the trickiest conditions to run in, but a cold spell doesn’t have to mean a total running ban. Take it easy at first and get a feel for the conditions. Smaller strides will help build your confidence and work out how slippy it is.
– Explore trails and woods. Areas with some tree cover are likely to be less slippy, and frozen, earthy trails can provide a bit more friction than smooth streets. Work out where’s best for a subzero run.
– Don’t overdress. It can be tempting to pile the layers on in cold weather, but you’ll warm up quickly once you’re on the move. Colder temperatures are much easier to run in than hot ones – you’ll just need some motivation to get going!
– Try the treadmill. If it’s really slippy, give the treadmill a go. You can use a treadmill session to focus on a specific aspect of running such as technique, elevation or stamina without the distraction of snow and ice underfoot.