I thought a quick reminder about staying safe while out walking and running this Winter might be worthwhile!
We’re all so focussed on being ‘COVID secure’ I thought we might forget the other stuff!
The Right Gear
The difference between enjoying yourself outdoors at this time of year and total misery is the right gear! I always start with footwear which needs to be waterproof for walking or running (in my opinion)! For walking I’m in proper boots or walking shoes now rather than trainers simply for the extra support. When it comes to trainers unless you are truly taking to the trails (which you won’t be because you need to stay local) don’t go for trail trainers because you’ll be running on a mix of surfaces. You need a normal trainer with a waterproof lining such as Gore Tex. Failing that you can get waterproof socks!
Evening runners please wear your hi vis and be seen. Don’t underestimate how invisible you are to drivers in dark clothes. We are only out in ones or twos so already we’ve lost the visibility of being in a group. Remember if you are running in the road (sometimes it’s less icy than pavement) run on the right hand side facing oncoming traffic.
Otherwise in colder weather the general recommendation is thin, breathable layers that you can take off and tie around your waist if you get too warm. Personally I like running gloves because they make a big difference to how I feel when I set off but easy to tuck up sleeves if get too hot. Likewise the SE Fitness neckwarming buff is a very useful lightweight bit of kit!
As we are out alone or with just one other I recommend carrying your mobile phone with your In Case of Emergency details. In this cold weather you might consider having a couple of antiseptic wipes and perhaps a silver blanket in your pocket just to help keep you warm in an emergency.
Warm up. This doesn’t have to be a major drama but leaping out of your car and straight off for a run is a recipe for disaster in this cold weather. If you feel a berk running up and down do some dynamic exerices on the spot – lunges, squats, calf raises, star jumps. This will fire up your legs and help to stop you pulling a muscle in the first 100m!
Remember to hydrate. That steam coming out of your mouth is lost fluid so remember even though it is cold you still need to rehydrate. You also need to refuel for energy and repair remembering that exercise outdoors in the cold burns more energy than on a warm day.
Daytime or evening please plan your route and, if going out alone, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.
In muddy, icy or generally slippery conditions please pay attention. The advice is to shorten your stride so that your feet land underneath you. We had a few folks slip over in the mud before lockdown so it’s worth considering the conditions when planning your route. As a general rule I go cross country when it’s icy and stick to tarmac or gravel paths when it’s muddy. Remember it can get very icy just by the ford near SE Fitness HQ.
Stay Safe SE Fitness xxx