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Stay fit in the frost: top tips from adidas for running in the winter
January 26th 2015
Are your fitness goals on thin ice? These words of wisdom and the sportswear giant’s newest launch will make sure you don’t slip up
It’s cold, it’s dark and it’s gloomy - hardly the most motivating of combinations to get our running shoes on. With New Year’s resolutions on thin ice, we could do with an added dose of fitness motivation to keep us on the right track. Thankfully adidas has just the solution in the form of some expert tip offs for running in the winter and the launch of its new Ultra Boost trainer to provide a formidable power team of exercise essentials to boost our get fit kits for duking it out with the elements.
Incorporating one of its most innovative and adaptive technologies to date, the new Ultra Boost trainer is built for any condition, with its sole designed and created by tyre specialists Continental AG. Akin to a 4x4 for your feet, its grip and stability make it the ideal outdoor running shoe for tackling snow, ice and frost.
“The winter is a vicious circle for runners,” says adidas trainer Tom Craggs. “It is time of year when you lay down your crucial base training for those spring races, where you have time to build your strength and endurance, where you know you need to train hard to stave off the worst of the inevitable Christmas excesses, yet it is also the time of year where excuses not to train seem to present themselves every time you open your kit drawer.
“Cold weather, icy roads, dark before you finish work – with a bit of planning and thought you can ensure you keep consistent and destroy the excuses!”
Tom’s top tips for running in the winter
1. Layer up – layers are the way to go in winter. Several thick layers of running specific, wicking fabrics will allow you strip down as you warm up…focus on high viz too to keep you safe and seen. Running specific base layers are a sensible choice.
2. Wrap up quickly – your immune system is low after hard interval sessions or long runs. Make sure you bring spare clothes with you to the gym, club or your own sessions – removing damp clothes immediately after your session and cooling down in dry, warm clothes to help stop you picking up bugs and infections. Get indoors too for your post run stretching.
3. Warm up slowly – in cold weather it is going to take you longer to warm up properly. Capillaries stay constricted for longer, muscles will feel stiffer, and you might find breathing more difficult in the first 10-15 minutes of a session. Allow longer than you normally would for easy running and drills before you start to attack faster paces and intervals. You might even consider warming up indoors with some active stretching, drills or skipping.
4. Get a roof over your head – it’s obvious but a treadmill, cross trainer, bike or rowing machine can replace or supplement your training. You might consider doing some of your faster sessions indoors if you think outdoor environments look dangerous or tricky to navigate.
5. Accessories – hats, gloves, compression socks and arm warmers and all help your body retain heat without you feeling like you are weighed down by mountains of gear.
6. Keep good company – the cold winter months will challenge your resolve – surround yourself with positive people and train with others where you can (clubs, Run England groups) and schedule in some Parkruns and 10kms to keep you motivated and on track.
7. Sessions to suit conditions – if it is freezing outside, it’s unrealistic to expect your body, or mind for that matter, to hit short, hard maximum intensity interval work early in a session. Consider sessions that build intensity and speed as they move through. A progression run of 15 minutes easy, 15 minutes steady and 15 minutes at a 3-4 word, controlled discomfort or a fartlek session of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 pushing up the effort each block.
8. Get some sun – think about getting away to train in warmer climes on a warm weather camp such as www.209events.com/running-training-camps which will give you something to look forward to and the vitamin D your body will be craving.
9. Fight the wind – consider using Vaseline or Body Glide on exposed skin if it’s blowing a freezing gale outdoors to prevent wind chafing.
10. Stay well fuelled - the body burns more carbohydrate and less fat in cold conditions (Nimmo, 2004), so be even more aware of fuelling on-the-go on your longer runs.
11. Wrap up before races – if you have a marathon or half marathon in cold conditions, make sure you stay warm before the race with old clothes to discard. As you stand there shivering in shorts and a vest, you’ll be burning through those precious carbohydrates!
Follow Thomas at @thomascraggs and http://tomcraggs.blogspot.co.uk/.
adidas Ultra BOOST will be available exclusively at www.adidas.com from February 11, 2015, RRP £130 before being available at all good sports retailers on February 25th.