Winter is coming! It’s getting cold in the northern hemisphere and if you’re close enough to the poles you’ll also have the fun of less sun and more darkness. This will be my fifth winter of training in the cold/dark UK. I’ve learnt a lot over the last five years and I’m hoping this winter will work for me.
I’ve already noticed I’m not getting out as much as I did during the warmer, lighter months of the year. Each year has been a struggle to wear enough clothing to make the run comfortable but then end up suffering from overheating. Each year I promise to wear a little less to give my body a chance to adjust to the cooler temperatures and each year I attempt this less clothing attitude only to see it dropped in favour of warmer clothing as the weather gets colder. One other thing I’ve noticed is tendon damage ALWAYS happens at this time of year!!
I’m not living in a very cold country either. -10 degrees Celsius is a rare event for where I live. Snow? I’ve run one winter of snow. One!! It’s mostly rain, wind and darkness and temperatures between 0-10 degrees Celsius.
So why the blog about winter running and feeling like wearing the whole wardrobe?
I’ve been running with less clothing. Short training runs but the kind of run that I would normally wear the most kit. Occasionally it’s been a mistake but mostly it’s because my cold weather running kit wardrobe is, well, not much at all. So I’m forced to wear less when I train more.
Just to clarify – my normal running wardrobe consists of mid thigh shorts, sports t-shirt or vest if it’s toasty warm and a long sleeve windproof top (because it helps avoid sunburn and is surprisingly cool in direct sun). Perfectly suitable for a summer run. My winter running wardrobe is 3/4 length capri’s or full length running tights, vest, long sleeve running top, long sleeve windproof.
The layering works very well keeping me warm. Too warm at times! Wearing less is painful to begin with but after a quick warm up I find I’m racing along just to produce more heat to keep warm. I’m not getting the same injuries either. It’s all very interesting. My only problem is I really don’t like getting cold. Let’s see if I can keep this up through to the end of February 2016
So at what point do I turn into one of those ultra bunnies that skip up mountainsides wearing skimpy shorts and vest in January temperatures looking as though it’s the middle of summer?