The dark nights are HERE!
Yes, it’s that time of the year when the hi-viz clothing and long tights are dusted down in time to cure the fix of the colder runs.
For me, winter is my favourite time of the year to train. It’s the perfect opportunity to build a base/foundation with the training and get the ball rolling with the 2017 season ahead.
This blog will bring together the top five things I love about this season and its affiliation with winter training. Everyone loves a tough winter run!
Without out beating around the bush, lets crack on!
5. The Darker Nights
I don’t know what it is, but I really like running in the dark. I know there are a lot of folk who much prefer to be seen in the daylight to get their run done but I don’t
I like how wrapped up I can get, don the layers of long tights and my More Mile Orange Fleece. The cold snap that follows the darker nights is a bonus as, not only does the element promote a cooler sensation but I feel very snug in my kit if it does.
*There’s bonus points for wearing my hat and gloves.
4. Winter Clothing
With a new season arriving, it can only mean one thing – NEW CLOTHES!
My running wardrobe/drawers (yes, plural), are on the verge of bursting with past training shirts, shorts and tights. I should throw some away, yet I have a massive struggle to part ways with them, so I buy more instead – I don’t know why.
If I can add a fleece or wind jacket before winter truly settles in, I’m happy. Like mentioned before, I love to feel well wrapped up when running.
Of course, with clothing, shoes must follow. I have my eyes on a few models to replace the Nike Pegasus 32 and Adidas Boston Boost Running shoes, so far, the Brooks Launch 3 and the 6th generation of the Boston Boosts have caught my eye – however with Christmas around the corner, I might have to ask Santa.
3. Cross County
I mean, who doesn’t like XC?!
It’s a fantastic way to introduce a speed session or clock your long run in, plus, it’s in a muddy field!
Although I don’t do a lot of the fixtures throughout the season, when I do run, I absolutely love it. Three laps of a field in the bitter cold and moist grassed area, is a perfect tonic to wake up and add to the mileage in your block of training.
Representing your club, while having a laugh at the same time, is one of the reasons why I love to do them.
If you haven’t done one before, ask your club, they are fantastic!
2. Planning Your Season
This is why you train, right?
Looking at the 2017 calendar and picking races our to peak for is one of the things I love about winter. As Christmas draws nearer, so does entering the Blaydon Races, Great North Run, Kielder 10K and Sunderland 10k – well, those are just some of the races that I’m looking at personally, whether my bank balance agrees, that’s another thing.
Anyway, the races mentioned are vast becoming more and more popular each year and, there will be a majority of you, reading this, doing the same and looking for races to train for next year, it’s exciting isn’t it?!
Easily the most important aspect of this blog and for winter training. Without this, what’s the point in racing?
Each damp, muddy and cold run is one step closer to not only releasing the endorphins but also, potentially, hitting a PB we’ve been chasing. Constant laps on the track, trail routes, hills and long runs play a massive part in trying to achieve this, some love it, others hate it – personally, I love it.
When I used to train with my old sprints group, hitting the track and leaving barely able to walk/drive was one of the reasons why I turned up week in, week out. I loved being tested, to see how much my lactic threshold could be pushed, maybe to the brink of my body just folding over, it was incredible.
Speaking of Hills, this is without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite aspect of winter. Repetitive reps up a steep stretch of a path punishes your legs and wish you never started the session in the first place but afterwards, you feel incredible. They are vital and perfect to help with speed and latter stages of a race, along with tempo sessions too.
I bloody love winter!