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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices.”

If you are in Victoria, Australia you will have experienced the winter arctic blast that crossed the state this week. As if we haven’t already faced enough challenges to our training this year, now we seem to have been hit with a very early taste of winter. So how do you get yourself motivated and out running safely in these conditions? Chris and I are here to give you our tips!

First of all it is important to acknowledge that our cold is not Northern Hemisphere cold, but for us its cold! The winds in Melbourne have knack of getting in to your bones and the days are grey and miserable. When faced with rain and wind it is an added challenge to get yourself out the door but if you make it out and do it well, the benefits are both physical and mental.

When you get used to running in the elements the feeling of pride and power is considerable. You feel alive and refreshed, even if you are wet through! I personally love running in the rain, despite being someone who hates being cold! Once moving you warm up and if your clothing choices are well thought out you will survive even the coldest of winds. Yes it may take some trial and error but its worth the time! The last thing you want is to arrive for your event faced with sub 10o temps, gale force winds and neither the physical or mental preparation to cope with the environmental challenge. Yes we do all we can to control the controlables’, but the weather will never be within your control. Step up to that start line knowing you have trained in every condition possible and have the confidence that your clothing choices and mental strength will get you through to the finish line as comfortable as can be!

If you are someone who heads out in shorts and a t-shirt, or even a crop top and briefs year round with zero concerns this may not be the blog for you, but if you are like the majority of the population who feel the cold here are some tips to help get you out training in less than perfect conditions.

- Do your pre-run glute/ calf mobility work. If ever there is a good time to spend 5 mins on a good warm up it is on an icy day. Calf raises, step back lunge to knee drive, hip openers, glute bridges, leg swings. I cannot emphasize it enough. Your body will thank you for taking that extra five minutes before you head out the door. When you are cold, you are more prone to soft tissue injuries.

- Get warm and dry fast! If you need to drive home, strip off your wet clothes and crank up the heater or get yourself in the shower as soon as you can post run. To help the body recover well sure you want to be on top of your nutrition but when you are wet through on and 8o day getting warm should take priority!

Get your clothing choices right!

- A light-weight wind or water-proof running jacket or a merino long sleeve are worth their weight in gold. Cotton will get wet, cold and cause a chill, whereas wool will keep you warm, yet allow you to sweat and cool effectively. Even on the coldest of days most of us will sweat, even just a bit so it’s important to have something on that is comfortable and doesn’t act like a sweat suit! A singlet/ vest underneath and then a long sleeve merino or jacket will often be enough.

- Full length or ¾ length tights – There is a school of thought that covering your knees and calves helps to protect them from chills, wind and reduces the risk of injury.

- Cover your ears and even your skull! – Get yourself a buff, head band with ear covers or even a beanie - Your ears have zero insulation so feel the cold and we also lose a lot of heat out of the head so keeping trapping it in will help you feel warmer.

- Gloves – cover those digits, once they are cold they take a long time to warm up again!

- Shoes - As regular runners it is good practice to cycle between at least two pairs of trainers. Don’t give yourself an excuse that your shoes are or will get wet and will therefore impact your next training session. The will dry out and your toes will warm up!

As we see it there aren’t really any excuses!! You can do brave things – get out there!

And let us know your top tips for running in the cold!


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