How to Stay Safe Running in the Winter

How to Stay Safe Running in the Winter

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - November 29, 2023

Winter is well and truly upon us  - running in Winter takes maximum motivation and effort, but don’t let the shorter days stop your stride. Running in winter can actually be really invigorating but it is important you are taking extra precautions to keep safe in low light settings. 

We’ve put together a list of tips for running in the dark so you can maximise performance during all hours. 

Wear Something Reflective 

If you’re wondering what to wear when running in cold temperatures, staying seen is one of the most vital elements for staying safe when running in Winter. Reflective gear is an essential for helping pedestrians and traffic see you coming. Whether you’re hitting your stride in a bustling city or through remote country roads, just like cyclists, you need to ensure that you stay seen. The Light Collection encourages wearers to push the limit of what you are capable of. Featuring reflective technical wear that is precision crafted to enhance low-light training sessions - so you can put in the work after hours. 

Wear layers

While obvious, it is super important that you wrap up warm before heading out on a run in cooler climates. Firstly invest in a waterproof jacket, running gloves and a hat, to keep you warm and dry in the weather extremities. 

Baselayers are ideal for any cold weather run, helping to keep you warm and wick away any moisture. 

However, you do need to keep in mind that wearing too many layers could result in you overheating and needing to take them off, which could ruin your run. Underdress by a few degrees to refrain from getting too hot. 

Wear Shoes With Traction:

If you're running on snow, you will need to ensure that you are wearing shoes with enhanced traction and protection. Don’t forget to keep your feet warm with thick, comfortable socks. Reduce your pace and keep attention on the path staying clear of slippery areas. 

Warm Up

Warming up is all the more important in Winter months and is essential for running safely. When it's colder, our muscles shorten and become more tense - warming up helps to get the blood flowing allowing muscles to lengthen to help prevent injury. If you usually just do a quick five minute workout, instead make it 15, spending the extra time to really loosen your muscles and joints. 

It is beneficial to ease the transition as you begin running - starting at an easy pace before diving into your pace goals for your run. 

Stay in Your Aerobic Zone

It is imperative to adjust your run speed according to the weather. Avoid running at high speeds or long distances during cooler temperatures. Prevent extra stress on your body and stay in your aerobic zone - this will feel slower than what you are used to, however this will still improve your conditioning and maintain your running muscles.

Avoid Running Alone

Arranging runs with friends and loved ones can not only keep you motivated, but can also keep you safe in the cold. Why not consider joining a run club for the Winter months. 

If you are running alone, let people know where you are going and ensure that you have your phone on you so you can contact someone if anything happens. 

Run in Familiar Well-Lit Areas

If running alone, ensure that you stick to main roads and well lit areas. While it is important to run in familiar areas, if you run several times a week, it is important to mix them up to avoid repetition. 

For personal safety, it is important to steer clear of parks - this includes changing up your route so you don’t leave yourself at risk running through quiet or dark places. 

Stay Alert

It may be tempting to run with headphones but it is vital that you stay alert at all times when running in the dark as your vision is limited. If you must run with music, consider opting for overhead headphones that allow you to still hear what is going on around you. 

Have a Back-up plan

Ensure you keep your phone charged in case of emergency - store it in a storage pocket or running band. Also, take a bank card or travel card with you in case you need to find another way home. 

Stay Hydrated 

You might not feel that you are sweating as much when it's super cold outside, but it is still important to drink liquids before, during and after a run to stay hydrated. 

Try to Keep Your Runs Short

In freezing conditions, it is beneficial to keep your run time short - between 30 and 60 minutes. This helps to avoid compromising your immune system.