Winter Readiness Training

Check out the hints and tips for winter training from OCR specialist & kit provider Brocket Gear

And you can also take advantage of our OCR Scotland exclusive 10% discount code OCRSCOT15

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No matter which sport you are training for it is always easy to let your guard down in the winter.  It is important to maintain a steady state of fitness throughout the winter season so that come Spring time you will not find it too much of a struggle to bring your fitness levels up to race pace.  Whether you are a rookie or a pro, it is worth understanding the importance of winter training.

There are a number of important considerations for winter training, these are broken down into the following categories:

Weather - Always check the weather forecast to ensure you dress suitably for the conditions.  If it is icy, consider waiting until it thaws or ensure footwear is adequate.  

Route - We cannot emphasis the importance of planning your route and/or training session.  The sun is generally low in the sky in the winter so consider running routes where you will not be running face into the sun in dangerous areas such as next to busy roads.  If you live in an area where outside training is impossible, consider looking around for an OCR or Crossfit style gym.  Parks are also great for winter training.

Time - Set aside more time for your winter training sessions.  You will need to consider extra time for warming up and cooling down.

Visibility - The short winter days mean we often end up training before or after work in the dark. It is essential to remain visible at all times so consider a high vis running jacket and head torch.

Clothing:

Head and Neck - On cold days,you will lose a approximately 10% of your heat from your head, so it is important to keep it covered with a hat and possibly a neck gaiter too.  You may also want to protect your lips from chapping with Vaseline or lipsal. You can also use some products on you face such as the nose and cheeks to prevent windburn and chapping.

Upper Body - The key to winter running especially for your upper body is layering.

Firstly, you will need to keep your hands warm with a good pair of gloves. You can lose a great deal of you body heat through your extremities so it is important to cover those hands.  Next, you want a fitted or compression base layer. This layer is the closest to your body and should have contact with your skin, this layer should ONLY consist of wicking fabrics such as wool or synthetic materials and not cotton.

A 2nd layer is needed for colder runs and is made of an insulation fabric such as fleece. This layer has the perfect balance of trapping air to keep you warm while releasing enough vapour to avoid overheating and chills.  As a final layer, you will want to protect yourself against the wind, rain and snow but at the same time allow both heat and moisture to escape to prevent both overheating and chilling.

Lower Body - Your legs generate a lot more heat than the rest of the body while running and therefore you will not need as many layers on your lower body. Shorts are generally fine, however if the temperature is below 10 degrees, you may wish to consider a pair of running leggings or tights.  Your feet also have the tendency to keep warm and there shoes with breathable waterproof membranes to help protect your feet from the natural elements. Choose shoes with an aggressive sole for the best grip, for added traction there are shoes with metal studs, remember however that these type of shoes are mostly banned from most OCR events but do offer superior grip when running snow and ice.  Do not use cotton socks when running because they will not wick away the moisture, leaving your feet wet and prone to blisters. Instead use socks with wicking fabrics such as wool and synthetic fibre

Accessories:

Dryrobes: One accessory that has become a ‘must have’ in the OCR world and we see a lot of at events are the Dryrobes.  These jackets are roomy, fleece lined and exceptionally warm.  With all the space inside them, they allow the user to get changed under them in warm conditions.

Kitbrix - These are a water proof, modular type bag, enabling you to zip together to use on race day in whatever configuration suits you. Essential for any athlete, family or sports team, KitBrix is the most functional and most effective of all the sports organisers. Big easy pull zippers, military inspired design, well thought out shape for open access and a hardwearing tarpaulin as well as a moulded base which makes this durable bag set outstanding.

Hydration/Nutrition - While training through the winter you will not sweat nor feel as thirsty as you typically would in the summer, therefore it is important to remain alive to this and remember to keep drinking and eating before, during and after your training sessions.

We at Brocket Gear want to help you to enjoy Adventure Running and ObstacleCourse Running as we do. Therefore if you have any questions or queries about what gear you should be using particularly as we come into the winter, do not hesitate to ask us. www.brocketgear.co.uk | info@brocketgear.co.uk