Berghaus Fleece and Nike Trail Trainers c/o Blacks, Top and socks from my lovely Mum, Nike Running Leggings c/o JD Sports, Nike Running Gloves from The Hut (I think I might have a thing for Nike...)
The first time I went on a 'walk' with The Man I turned up expecting a normal walk for normal humans and ended up halfway up a mountain in 6 feet of snow so inadequately dressed it was kind of hilarious. I was wearing a cashmere jumper (complete with a fox on the front), skinny jeans, leather UGG boots, a leather jacket and a backpack that aptly wouldn't have been out of place in Clueless.
I've learned a lot since then from running outside, walking an ultra marathon with The Man for his 100k Trailwalker training and running 10k in a dark forest in December that I'm now over prepared when we go for a walk or I run outside! So I thought I'd share a few tips for training in Winter for any beginners out there who want to get fit this January without the utter banality of the gym!
What to Wear
- Layers are key for when you're training in winter, each layer traps air that will keep you warmer than one big sweatshirt and will stop you losing as much heat, add a lightweight waterproof jacket is the weather is being a bit British. I have five layers on my top in the images above and it was about 2-4 degrees over the course of a 10 mile walk, I didn't feel the cold at all!
- I always feel the cold most in my hands so gloves are an absolute necessity, I picked up these Nike running gloves here (they're 40% off at the moment, win) and they have been a life/finger saver! They have tech-friendly finger tips so you can easily put Shake it Off back on over and over again.
- A good pair of running trainers or hiking boots that fit properly and give you support in the right areas are really important, if you're not sure where you need support you can get a fitting at somewhere like Runners Need, they will be able to tell you exactly! But if you're looking for a one size fits all beginners shoe for running, Nike running trainers are my faves. Make sure you wear new shoes in with a few short runs or walks before you head out on a proper one so you don't return with blisters for feet.
- Getting a decent sports bra completely changed my relationship with running, before I used to refuse to run at all because of my rather ample bosom but the Panache Sports Bra sorted all my problems! I cannot recommend this enough.
- I am always over prepared when we go for a hike but it's better to be that way than to not have enough supplies, especially when you're in the middle of nowhere for hours and hours!
- For a long hike make sure that you have plenty of water, even if it's a cold day you still need to make sure you're hydrated. Isotonic drinks are also good to have handy for an energy boost.
- Sweets are my necessity when we go on a hike; jelly beans, jelly babies or wine gums are all great for an extra sugar boost but eat them throughout rather than all in one go to avoid sugar highs and lows. Trail mix is also a-mazing, you can easily make it yourself, it's basically M&Ms with nuts and raisins in the way.
- Make sure you also have carb and protein filled food with you to keep energy levels high, we generally have a ham or chicken in a multi-grain roll with a Trek bar or 9 Bar for lunch.
- Extra clothes are always important to have with you too, especially if it's raining! Keep an extra top and pair of socks in a plastic bag in your backpack, then they will stay dry and you can put the wet clothes in the plastic bag, sorted. A lightweight waterproof is good to have with you, even if you only use it to sit on to eat lunch!
- Lip balm is a must for me, whatever the weather I always find myself with dry lips!
- Tissues, for sniffles or just in case nature calls.
- Plaster, for blisters or in case you hurt yourself, it's rocky out there after all!
- If you're running 10-15k rather than hiking 10-15 miles, I'd suggest taking around 750ml of water, energy gels with caffeine and plasters just in case!
- Have a recovery protein shake or protein filled snack ready for you when you get back to the car or home, make sure you drink/eat it within 20 minutes of finishing your walk to get the full benefits from it.
Hair and Make-up
- Make-up is pretty much unnecessary for when you're running or hiking but I still like to wear a little BB cream with SPF to prevent sun damage, lip balm to keep my lips moisturised and waterproof mascara as I find it helps keep my eyes from watering, no idea why!
- I always have hand cream at the ready for when I get home, the cold is not friends with your hands. Clarins hand and nail treatment is my favourite at the mo.
- I cannot understand the girls who run with their hair down, if it works for you, go for it but I need it as far away from my face as possible! I find a french plait or a high bun works best for me as they both keep my fringe out of my face and my hair from annoying me as I run. Make sure you have extra bobbles and hair grips with you just in case!
Right, now time to set up that after work running club we've been talking about for ages, wish us luck!