Good evening friends,
After another flurry of snow over the weekend and on the back of The Northumberland Endurancelife race in February and Beast from the East, I've decided to blog about running in the snow & other bad weather.
It can be very tempting to feel discouraged when the rain, snow or wind starts and everyone around you is headed in doors for the duration. As a beginner I'd have done the same but now I enjoy my running so much, I've become an "all weather runner". I'm not a fan of torrential rain but apart from that, I'll be out there enjoying myself and laughing at how silly I look.
I promise you it can be fun running in unusual weather and with a little extra precaution, you will be absolutely fine.
The Beast from the East has been and gone now but I am certain we will experience more challenging conditions before summer properly begins in Scotland. In anticipation of that, here are my top tips for running in snow and other bad weather.
1. MINDSET… Make up your mind that you are going to run regardless of what anyone says. People are likely to tell you you’re crazy or that you’ll slip and break your neck. I'm not a statistician but I’m pretty sure you’re more likely to get run over by a car, bus or train than injure yourself from running in the snow (if you are a little bit careful).
2. SLOW DOWN … Be prepared to run a lot slower than usual. Don’t time yourself for a start and go with what feels natural for you. When I ran the Enurancelife Marathon I was sure I’d only be 20 minutes slower than my marathon time on the flat. When I started running I quickly realised I was going to be a lot slower on the sand, mud, grass and rocks, plus an extra mile on the end. I didn’t put any pressure on myself and I ended about 50 minutes slower than my marathon time. I'll take 4hrs 35 for 27.5 miles thank you
3. GET THE RIGHT KIT… This is when you genuinely do need to consider what you are wearing. Whilst I’m all for the old leggings and any old fleece or jumper for a regular run, you do need to be prepared for bad weather running.
Trail shoes are something I didn’t believe I’d need but they were essential. The extra grip, support and more waterproof material was vital for running across the beaches and rocks. A waterproof and windproof jacket will also make a huge difference. Don’t go out there in your thick NorthFace puffa that you wear for hill walking though. Make sure your jacket is lightweight or you’ll be sweating like a drunk in a nightclub before you get down the road. A hat is also essential. I wore two in Northumberland. I don’t find I need gloves but if you do, get some nice thin running gloves.
4. 4.SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE… and keep your feet lower to the ground so you don’t risk slipping. Your running style will need to change a bit especially if you’re someone who sprints. That just aint going to work in snow. Keep it slow and don’t try going for a PB.
5. TAKE A CHANGE OF CLOTHING… If it’s a long run in bad weather make sure you have a change of clothing for the end. If you park the car somewhere or are taking part in a race, get a kit bag for the end with a small towel and full change of clothing. There is nothing worse than when you cool down and experience the wet sweat stick. It’s awful!!! Even in summer, I pack a full clothing change for the end of a race because I can't stand being wet & sweaty for longer than necessary aka. a cool down stretch and glug of water.
I hope you found this helpful & next time you see some snow or rain you don't hide inside with your G & T. Just do that after your run....
I'd love to know if you enjoy running in all weather?