As 2020 comes to a close (queue a collective sigh of relief) many of us may find it difficult to stay motivated and active as the colder weather here in the northeast takes its grip. While this is always a challenge during this time of year - one that has led to many a New Year’s resolution gone bad, this year may prove to be especially difficult with the prospect of gyms & fitness centers being closed. During the warmer summer months, the closure of these facilities led to a huge increase in outdoor running, both among seasoned runners and those getting out for the first time. But while many find the prospect of venturing out once the thermometer has dipped below T-shirt and shorts weather daunting, with the right gear (and mindset), running in winter can be very enjoyable. This month we get expert advice from Total Image Running founder Christine Lewis, who says, “staying safe, comfortable and motivated during winter, comes down to three things - preparation, gear and goals.”
Prepare: Warm up before your run. It takes longer for the body to heat up in the winter so doing warm up drills can help prepare your body. High knees, side shuffles, butt kicks, lunges...anything to get the blood pumping and the lower body muscles loosened up.
Gear: The right gear is key to keep you comfortable, which allows you to actually enjoy your workouts. Layers are your friend, a few lighter layers give you options to shed or unzip as you warm up. Believe it or not, overheating is one of the most common problems during colder weather. Invest in waterproof sneakers, pants and merino wool socks. Wear a hat, gloves or mittens and make sure you will be seen with reflective gear like a safety vest and head lamp.
Goals: Keep yourself accountable. Join a running club, buddy up with friends and family, join a challenge. Set something up specific to train for, like a race.
Speaking of races, while Total Image is active within many aspects of the running and fundraising communities, organizing and managing races is their primary business. With many options for in-person events (yes, even in the winter months) they have taken significant steps to keep participants safe during races, including sanitizing stations, capped participant numbers and many other procedures to keep runners spread out on the course. And if all of that still doesn’t get you outside to join an in-person race, they have created several “virtual” race options as well. So whether you join a race, train on your own, or log miles on a treadmill this winter, the important thing is...keep moving!
For more information, visit totalimagerunning.com.
As seen in North End Living - A neighborhood publication for the residents of the North End of Manchester