What running in winter achieves
Training in the cold season does more than simply keep the body fit. Besides enabling you to maintain your summer training level and burn excess calories, each moderate session also acts as a valuable boost for your immune system.
Cooler temperatures may even get you running faster and further. In warm weather the blood has to protect the skin from overheating, while cooler weather allows the blood to better supply the heart and muscles.
Choose the right clothing
Wear the right sports clothing when practising sweat-inducing sports. The onion-skin principle, i.e. several layers on top of each other, is best. If you train in the dark, wear a reflective vest and, if possible, a headlamp. And don't forget your cap – we lose a large part of our body heat through the head. Running shoes with a high water resistance factor also help.
Cold hands and feet
Although you’re sweating, you still have cold hands and feet? This is a normal biological reaction. Due to the sub-zero temperatures, the body goes into alarm modus and tries to keep all the vital organs warm. For this purpose, it withdraws heat from where it's most dispensable: the body’s extremities. Here too, the onion-skin principle applies: the best protection is to wear two pairs of socks or gloves.
Breathe through your nose and reduce your pace
Reduce your pace and whenever possible always breathe through your nose in winter. The fact is: if you run around like crazy in sub-zero temperatures, you risk not only suffering an irritation of the airways but also, in extreme cases, cold asthma.
The mucous membranes are also sensitive to cold air: they dry out quickly, making them more susceptible to viruses. But if you reduce the intensity of your runs, you breathe less deeply, which means that less cold air enters the respiratory tract.
Don’t forget to warm up
Make time to warm up. Whether it’s running upstairs a few floors, push-ups or skipping in your apartment – warming up reduces the risk of injury. Start slowly and increase your pace after around 10 minutes.
Caution with a cold
Be cautious at the first sign of a cold. Practising sport while suffering from a cold doubles the pressure on the immune system.
Drink a lot in winter too
In the cold season, we tend not to feel so thirsty. But it’s not the case that the body needs less liquid in winter. The dry air from indoor heating raises evaporation levels and extracts water – so you should drink at least two litres of liquid a day.
Is the weather particularly dire? Stay flexible and adapt your training accordingly. There’s no shame in reducing the time or intensity of your run. Stay at it – you will feel much better after exercising.
Motivation with a running group
When training in a group, you’ll benefit in several ways: besides the fact that it’s much easier to start running in the cold or in the dark in a group, it will boost your enthusiasm and you’ll achieve your goals more quickly. Whether in a running group, with your partner, friends or work colleagues, give it a try. And it’s surprising how often an interesting conversation will help you forget your aching legs.
Training at home
And if you really can’t bring yourself to exercise outdoors, there are all kinds of ways of doing sport in the warm. We have lots of great videos to help you. Let's get started.