Winter stretching at Forest Recreation Ground

As we enter December, Nottingham also steps into another month of tier three restrictions but what does this mean for the many people trying to fit and burn off the lock down weight once again.

Gyms have opened their doors again but with the virus here to stay this winter the some people may not feel comfortable heading back to the Nottingham gyms this festive period.

Instead why not take advantage of the large green spaces that Nottingham has to offer and head out for a run. But with the temperatures are dropping runners need to be prepared when facing the cold this winter.

Here are my top tips when tackling the track this December:

  1. First of all, you should always dress for weather a few degrees warmer then it actually is outside. Though you may feel a bit nippy for the first few minutes after a short while your body temperature will start to increase and you will warm up significantly.

2. Jacket – The most obvious accessory for running in cold temperatures is an appropriate jacket. While wearing a hoodie may work for some, a thick hoodie can cause you to get too hot while taking on the miles. A running jacket/ windcheater is the perfect lightweight jacket to keep you protected from the weather without causing you to overheat.

Runner wearing a jacket to keep warm from the cold temperatures

3. Gloves – Stepping out into the cold weather causes all your blood to rush to vital organs which leaves your hands feeling especially cold when facing the extremes. This means that keeping your hands warm in the right way is very important. Purchasing a pair of running gloves will save you from the winter chill but make sure to purchase from a sport specific shop as woolly gloves aren’t likely to do the job!

4. Headband – Another part of your body likely to get victimised by the cold are your ears. The need to cover your ears but not get too hot means that hats generally don’t work for running in the winter. Headbands designed for runners are perfect option to protect your ears from the harsh weather without causing your temperature to increase too much.

Headband to protect your ears

5. Leggings – When running, leggings have always caused me the most trouble including what type to wear from full length, three quarter or just ditch them and go for shorts. But when the temperatures are circling 0 degrees bare legs become less of option which means getting good leggings are a must have. While the price of leggings may seem a bit unreasonable it is worth the money to have ones that actually stay up when you run, having good quality running clothes gives you one less thing to think about on those winter mornings.

Runner bracing the cold with full length leggings on

6. Warming up – An important part of running in cold temperatures is to make sure your body is warm enough before leaving the house. By completing a warm up before you leave the house it means that your blood is already pumping around the body and preparing you to face the harsh weather.

7. Hydration – In the summer months hydration is an obvious factor but when it comes to winter this seems to be forgotten. We don’t feel as hot and sweaty when running in winter which means that we don’t have the urge to drink as much but we still need this hydration. So this winter make sure to keep yourself just as hydrated as you would throughout the summer.

Winter runner taking a water break

8. Be sensible- The final factor to remember is to be safe and sensible. While we all want to keep fit this winter sometimes the weather doesn’t permit this. When heading out for a run remember to stop and think about if this is detrimental to your health.

Following these top tips will help you to keep safe when running this winter and a perfect time to add any of these items to your Christmas list over the next few weeks.