The winter months can drain your motivation, energy levels, and the enjoyment of going out for a run. If the cold, wet and dull days are making it difficult for you to get out the door, Endurance Adventurer and Running Coach Luke Tyburski just might have the answer you are looking for.
Luke’s top 5 tips for winter running.
1 Have a Routine
Having a pre run routine can help you get into run mode, and one step closer to actually running.
My pre run routine to get me into the mood when I’m feeling flat is to use my Pulseroll. This unique vibrating foam roller not only gets my blood flowing and loosens off my muscles, but in the process of this, I start to feel some of those energising endorphins flowing through my body as well.
It literally feels like the light vibrations from the roller are not only bringing my legs to life, but my motivation levels as well.
Increased blood flow, loosened off muscles, and renewed motivation, perfect!
2 Dynamic Warm up
The very thought of going out running when it’s cold can put us all off. My little secret to overcoming freezing temperatures outside mentally (and physically), is to increase my core temperature by doing a dynamic warm up inside before I head out.
I will do several circuits of calf raises, squats, lunges, torso twists, and running on the spot with high knees to get me warm. After 5 minutes of this routine (I usually do sets of 20 repetitions for each exercise) I will be hot, my muscles properly stretched, and with the blood pumping through my body it’s time to get outside and start running!
Beginning my run already warm (from the dynamic warm up) means I don’t have to put on multiple layers to feel comfortable when running throughout winter. Running maintains my core temperature, with the brisk air offering a refreshing counter measure as I continue to put one foot in front of the other.
How many times have you set out for a run, but only to strip off halfway through, or brave the self imposed sauna you’ve created for yourself until you’ve finished?
Very rarely does anyone run for a few miles and wished they had put on more layers.
Ditch the extra shirt, leave your jacket at home and enjoy feeling comfortable when you run, not hot and sweaty when you could have prevented it by simply wearing less clothes.
If it is quite cold outside wear a pair of gloves, numb fingers are not fun!
4 But use a Buff
One of the most versatile pieces of kit I have found for running is the buff. This elasticated tubular piece of fabric has helped keep me warm in so many ways. It has also been my “back up plan” just in case I have misjudged how cold it is outside.
I wear my buff over my head like a hat or around my neck like a scarf to keep the heat from escaping out of the top of my shirt. If I get too hot, or I don’t want to wear it from the beginning of my run, but still want to take it with me, I’ll wrap it around my wrist like a fluffy watch.
The buff is a lightweight, handy, and a comforting piece of clothing to have in your running kit for winter.
I’m a creature of habit, which is a good thing, because after a short or long run I’ll reach for my Pulseroll to begin my body’s recovery process.
Using a combination of the vibrating foam roller or peanut ball after my runs, I’ve found that it keeps my legs feel refreshed, and not as tight. The vibrations help loosen my muscles and increase the blood flow around my body, which in turn, helps remove the naturally occurring waste products our bodies create from running.
The biggest reason I use a Puleroll instead of a traditional foam roller is because I don’t have to use any extra energy to physically roll myself over the roller itself and due to the vibrations it is far less painful. The varying vibrating levels do the hard work for me, so I can simply lie on the floor exhausted like I usually am after a run, with my body is still benefiting from my post run routine. The Pulseroll is much less of a chore than a regular roller and I get to save time while achieving better recovery results.
I’ve been using the vibrating Pulseroll instead of a standard roller for over a year now, and have been told by my Physiotherapist, Osteopath, and Massage Therapist that my muscles are less stiff, in better condition each time I see them, and for me, the treatments I receive after high mileage training weeks isn’t as painful. Daily use will help your body recover quicker, so you can enjoy the feeling of fresh legs each time you run.
Luke Tyburski is running the length of Ireland self-supported over nine day this summer; follow his journey on social media @luketyburski