Keeping to your running routine is a challenge at any time of year. Finding the energy to get up out of bed at dawn or go for a jog after work takes dedication – which may be in short supply more often that we’d like.
Still, one way to make running a little easier is to wear comfortable clothes and gear. This is especially true in winter, helping to maintain a pleasant temperature and prevent overheating.
If you’re keen to stay in shape through the colder months, take a look at our clothing rules for winter running for the advice you need …
Layer Up, Strip Down
Don’t just head out into the cold wearing a bulky hooded top with nothing underneath. Why?
Well, as you get into your rhythm, you’ll start to warm up – and if you feel too hot, you’ll want to pull that heavy thing off. Unless you love jogging topless, this is unlikely to be the best move.
Wear a base layer (ideally, a wicking thermal, with long sleeves), a T-shirt, and a zip-front hoody. As you heat up, you’ll be able to take that outer shell off, and then the T-shirt, leaving yourself with a base layer.
Be sure to buy your workout gear in fairly loose sizes, so you can remove tops easily and quickly.
Be Seen at All Times
Unless you’re running between daylight hours, chances are you’ll be out there in the dark during winter. Most of us find time to run before and after work, putting you into a slightly more dangerous situation.
When you’re running along roads, down country lanes, and in the city, you have to stay visible. It only takes one driver to miss you as you’re crossing the street to cause an accident.
Wear a high-visibility vest over your top, illuminated armbands, or strobing LED lights that clip to your clothes.
Be Willing to Change Straight Away
After your run, be sure to take your sweaty clothes off right away. Leaving your running gear on can leave you vulnerable to catching a chill, and make you colder as your body starts to sweat to cool you down.
Don’t Forget your Hands
Make sure you wear gloves. It’s easy to focus on keeping your torso and legs warm, but your hands are still just as vulnerable to the cold when you’re running.
Wear thin gloves which are resistant to the wind and rain. Ideally, they will be small enough to roll-up into your pockets if need be. Your gloves should also be fine enough to let you handle drinks and eat snacks without dropping them.
You may also want to put your gloves into a waterproof backpack, as with any snacks or drinks.
Spray your Sneakers Dry
Waterproofing your sneakers will help your feet stay dry and comfortable when running on wet days. We all know the frustration of tramping through a puddle and having to cope with damp socks the rest of your run.
Invest in a waterproofing spray, and treat your sneakers every couple of weeks.
Get a decent wardrobe of running clothes and accessories together for winter, and you’ll likely find your motivation staying at a high level – it’s easier to get yourself out there when you know you’ll stay comfortable.
For anyone who travels on a regular basis, staying in shape can be difficult.
Many professionals in various areas of business go from one city to another week in, week out. You may not stay in hotels with their own gyms, and you may not want to work out in your room when there’s a new place to explore.
Luckily, running allows you to get all the exercise you need in a hassle-free, cost-effective way – while also letting you see the sights.
America has plenty of fantastic cities for runners. Let’s look at five of the best …
New York, New York
New York is an incredible place for runners. To start with, Central Park offers a six-mile loop that lets you take in the gorgeous surroundings as you get your blood pumping.
You won’t be alone, either. There are around 60,000 members in the New York Road Runners club, guaranteeing you’ll see many of other people working up a sweat on those iconic streets. Especially as the five-borough marathon nears – as the biggest in the States, this event attracts new and seasoned runners alike.
Like New York and America’s other major cities, Chicago sees countless business-travelers come and go during the week. It’s a great city for anyone looking to stretch their legs while in town, with an 18-mile path following Lake Michigan.
Chicago has more tan its fair share of amazing views, and there are numerous water fountains set up to keep runners hydrated. You’ll also find restrooms in abundance – always helpful if you’re stopping at each of those fountains!
San Francisco, California
One of America’s most famous cities, San Francisco is a running hotspot, with 16 clubs and well over 250 races this year alone. It’s easy to see why, too, with Kezar Stadium offering a public track that’s kept thousands satisfied for almost a century.
You can also explore a terrific three-mile Lands End Coastal Trail, which brings you to Sutro Baths (saltwater pools). This is just one of many routes, and the city’s a gorgeous place to explore whichever you choose.
As with New York, you’ll also feel like you’re running through one movie-location after another. Especially when you cross that amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
While Seattle is known for its drizzly weather, it’s nevertheless a terrific place for runners. There are countless runs throughout the year, with some of those themed around Christmas and other holidays incredibly entertaining for all.
No matter what your preferences, you have a massive range of trails to choose from, providing miles upon miles of path to explore.
For example, the Burke-Gilman Trail offers 27 miles, and covers flat terrain and helpful mile-markers to help you keep track. Another highlight is Green Lake, and Lake Union (offering a full 10K circuit all the way around).
You also won’t struggle to find a nice cup of coffee when you’re done, either.
For runners touching down in Boston, one of the most obvious routes is the path along the Charles River. This crosses 18 miles, and is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.
There’s also the Emerald Necklace, which is more than 1000 acres covering nine interlinked parks.
Before you set out on any long-distance urban run, you need to make sure you have comfortable sneakers that will offer your feet the right support. You should also wear several layers, so you can peel one off at a time as your temperature continues to rise.
Running on a treadmill is private, convenient, and even allows you to exercise in a comfortable temperature.
But there’s no denying it: when you run on a treadmill, you deny yourself certain pleasures.
For a start, you’re out in the fresh air, away from the sweat-tinged confines of your gym. You have beautiful surroundings to enjoy, and a clearer goal to work towards: rather than thinking ‘I want to hit five miles today’, you can say ‘ I want to reach the top of that gorgeous hill’ instead.
You can run outdoors at any time, in any weather (safety permitting, of course). Perhaps you prefer to get a half-hour in at dawn, or two hours after work. Perhaps you prefer throwing on a hooded top and working your legs in winter’s chill rather than summer’s sweltering heat.
Running outdoors is fun, free, and invigorating. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s important to prepare. Not only can a little research help you avoid injury, it can also help you get more out of your time on the trail.
Let’s take a look at a few expert tips for beginners.
Pick a Popular Running Trail
Feeling self-conscious about exercising in public? You won’t be the first or the last.
However, don’t let your anxiety lead you down unfamiliar paths. Choose a popular running trail or spot in your area. If you have no idea where this may be, ask around: speak with colleagues, friends, and family to pick their brains.
Not only is this safer to avoid your getting lost, it also means there will be other runners around to ask for help or advice should you need it.
Don’t Push Too Hard
As with any form of exercise, you have to ease yourself into running.
You might be tempted to run as hard as you can, for as long as you can. However, if you do so, you may well end up injuring yourself.
Start off slowly, and run only for short periods. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Be prepared to stop before you feel ready.
Warm Up First
Not planning to warm up before you start running?
Well, you may risk injury and strain. Even something as simple as a quick five-minute walk around the block can help get your body ready for a more intensive workout, along with a few minutes of stretching.
Be sure to cool down after your run too. Again, allow yourself a brief walk and stretch your legs to minimize discomfort.
Take Supplies (Just in Case)
Even if you only plan on a quick run, you have to stay hydrated,
Take one larger bottle of water, or two smaller ones, in a backpack. You should drink little and often to avoid dehydration, especially if running in hot weather.
Don’t forget to pack a protein bar or two if you plan on running for long distances, to replenish lost energy. You might also want to take a map if in unfamiliar territory, or a book if you plan to stop at the halfway point for a break.
Taking a waterproof backpack is ideal in rainy conditions, to keep your supplies safe and dry.
Running can be fantastic fun, improve your health and well-being, and give you a new lease of life. Take care when you start out – and accept that you won’t be able to run a marathon on your first day!