*Contains some gifted items
I’m pleased that we are halfway through September and I’m still managing to get the miles in running-wise. I’ve run around 375 miles since January, and I hope to be over 500 miles by the end of the year.
I’ve found virtual running to be a good motivator to keep me going and I, of course, enjoying running in organised runs too. Ideally, I’d like to do another three organised runs by the end of the year (one a month) but it’s about finding ones that fit in with my diary at the moment. I currently have my eye on a couple planned for the end of September, early October, Early and Mid November and then hopefully a December one.
At the weekend I took part in the Stockport 10K and it was the first time I’ve needed to wear my jacket – the cooler weather is most definitely on its way now, so with that in mind I thought it a good opportunity to share my winter running essentials.
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Sunday Runday here. I signed up late to this 10km and wasn't really looking forward to it as it was a rather hilly course but wanted something in the diary after the fun of the Blackpool night run. I was aiming for 70 minutes so super pleased to get 65ish minutes. Home now for lunch before making a start on the evening meal. Not got any more in the diary but have my eye on a couple of runs.
For me a big change for the winter is wearing longer leggings – I much prefer cropped leggings but in the cooler weather I’m finding full-length leggings to be the ones for me. I’ve been fortunate to be gifted a pair from the Love Leggings Empower range and these are my go-to for winter now. They’re really supportive and I love the pockets in the side of the legs – they’re perfect for holding a ParkRun barcode or my keys. My cropped leggings that I have from the same range have lasted well and have washed really well too so I know these are really good value for money. These leggings also have the added benefit of being supportive in the tummy area – helping to make me feel a bit less self-conscious when running.
I’ve also this year bought a lightweight running jacket. I have another I got from Decathlon last year but have upgraded to a waterproof one for those evenings when it’s wet! I don’t mind running in the rain, but I want to be sensible too and not subject myself to catching a cold if I can help it. I managed to get a Ron Hill running jacket in a local sale for £20 which I’m really pleased with.
Looking after your body is key, especially in the winter months. I regularly use Arnica after long runs to ease my muscles afterwards and have taken to using a warming salve beforehand. I find it warms my muscles a little on those cooler evenings/mornings and it’s helped me keep injury free (so far!). I use Arnica and warming salve from Neals Yard and one jar has lasted me ages so it’s a good investment I find.
Also having a long hot bath is good for easing muscles and I find have some muscle warming bath salts really helpful.
I find headwear is important in all weathers, be it to shied your eyes from the sun, or to keep your ears warm! I like using ‘buffs’ which are thin stretchy pieces of fabric. They can be used in a myriad of ways, but I tend to use them to cover my ears and head and, if I get too hot then I can take it off and fasten around my wrist. I have a range of colours and designs and they’re a staple to my running wardrobe now we are in the cooler part of the year.
I bought mine from Hygge bands, and it’s worth keeping an eye out on their socials as there’s often offers on. I also intend to get some proper running gloves this winter as my hands really struggled last year in the cold.
And finally, it’s really important in the winter months to make sure you’re visible, run on well-lit roads and if possible, wear reflective materials. My running jackets have reflective panels on them but I also have some simple lights that go around my ankles or my arm for those darker nights. The ones I have I picked up in Aldi many years ago and they’ve lasted me well. They have two settings; static lights or flashing lights, and they just help me to remain visible to drivers etc.
If I’m to continue running through the winter, what other things do I need to add to my kit?