This is a guest post by Aisling Coppinger of Runworx. Aisling is a keen runner and currently runs around 80k/week, whatever the weather.
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For me the key to Winter training is layering. I hate to be too warm but it’s no fun to be too cold in this weather either! Because we’re in Ireland there’s also the possibility or probability of rain so here’s some tips to cover all the bases.
Upper body is the most important.
This is usually a layer worn next to the skin. You may have heard of them for skiing. For running, base layers are usually designed to wick moisture (sweat) away from the skin so that you do not get wet and cold. If you wear cotton next to your skin that is exactly what would happen. For running it’s best to wear a long sleeved base layer which uses terms like DryFit, Thinsulate, Thermax, CoolMax, polypropolene, or silk.
Outside of this layer you may wear another long sleeved wicking top (mid layer) if it is particularly cold. I sometimes wear a singlet outside instead of this mid layer.
With the kind of mild weather we are heaving now I usually find a jacket over one layer is enough. Your jacket should be windproof and shower proof. Ideally if it has a full zip you can open and close it to regulate temperature. Reflectivity is also a bonus as you may be running in the dark.
These layers should always be worn over a good sports bra. The best one to my mind is Shock Absorber. If you haven’t got a properly fitted sports bra you really should get fitted for the best! Running is a high impact sport and if you damage tissue around the chest area it won’t repair. A good fitting sports bra will be supportive holding the bust firmly and spread the weight of the bust onto the shoulders and back preventing painful movement and long-term tissue damage causing the bust to sag.
A small light weight fleecy hat or a peaked run hat is ideal for winter. Nothing too bulky as you may have to carry it if you get too warm.
One of my favourite ever items for running is my neck gaitor. They’ll keep your neck warm or can be used as a hat or as a pony tail or balaclava or wrapped round your wrist if you get too warm. Avoid the bulky fleecy ones as they are too bulky to carry if you heat up.
I usually wear shorts unless it’s snowing! Capri length will give you more coverage but full length running tights will wick away any sweat. At the same time you are unlikely to over heat in tights.
Socks and shoes
Avoid cotton socks. Your feet are unlikely to get too cold and if you sweat in cotton socks you will be prone to blisters. Go for materials such as acrylic, CoolMax, or wool (in the winter). If you’re running in rain or snow avoid shoes with a lot of mesh. It’s worth i
nvesting in a pair of trail shoes. They’ll have less mess, more grip for icy and cold conditions. You don’t need to go for full Gore-Tex (breathable waterproof material) as many brands are way too rigid in my
opinion. In extreme ice and cold it’s a great idea to get ice grippers. We do a brand called Springyard Cross Country. They will give added traction and you can probably use them over your regular shoes if you are walking to work or the shops……
Other useful running items include gloves; (nothing too bulky as you may have to carry them or tuck them into your tights), head torch; we do a range called Petzl that are ideal for night time running, Reflective bib over your jacket
Run with a group for security. Arrange to meet people. Not only is it safer but you’re less likely to chicken out of a session!!
Dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. I was told this when I started running and it’s a good rule of thumb. You don’t want to overheat and it’s probably only gonna be cold at the start of the run.
To give you an idea of costs, base layers, mid layers, running tights costs about 30 euro each. Jackets about 45 to 80 euro. Socks 8 or 9 euro each. Trail shoes about 75 or 80 euro. Anti slip spikes about 15 euro and HAD headgear is about 12 to 15 euro.
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Runworx Run shop has been in operation for two years as part of the Wheelworx Group (13 years in operation as Ireland’s biggest and best triathlon shop). We are based in Fonthill Retail Park, Liffey Valley, Co. Dublin in the same retail park as Smyth’s Toy Shop and the NCT centre. Rob and Aisling are the owners and are experienced sub 3 marathon runners, have completed many ultra marathons including 100k and 100 mile races and have completed numerous triathlons including ironman distance. We are available for advice and help and pride ourselves on always placing people in the rights shoes, the right gear and nutrition for their sport.
Simply sign up to our loyalty card scheme and you’ll receive ten percent off all running gear and clothing and accessories. If you sign up to our newsletter you’ll get notified of out specials which usually involve items on once-off large discounts e.g. we recently had Asics compression socks on special at €10 each (half price). You will also be notified of our running workshops which in the past have meant lots of free advice and goodies to participants!