I’m not going to lie, winter is when I’m at my best as a runner. I work better in chilly temperatures on the run, and it’s no coincidence all of my PBs have been set in the autumn or winter.
Doesn’t mean it’s when I enjoy it the most though. Don’t get me wrong, on a day like the one in these photos, gadding about in crisp, chilly snow or frost, with gorgeous scenery is no hardship, but these days are in the minority.
Grey. Cloudy. Drizzly. Windy. Dark. Always dark.
I could go on. There’s a lot of things that can make it harder for even the most seasoned runner to keep going through winter, and I’m no stranger to sofa inertia in winter myself. Cosy blankets, lots of tea and winter TV are infinitely more appealing sometimes, I won’t lie. Runners like Cat Simpson and Susie Chan inspire me hugely to get my head down and get on with it, but the other thing that helps me hugely?
The right kit. Keeping myself warm enough, seen by other road users and able to carry essentials like keys, my phone and snacks if I’m going a little longer are all vital to me enjoying winter training as much as possible in the perpetual gloom of British winter.
One of my favourite bits of kit I’ve acquired this winter is these tights from Tribesports, as part of their new Elite collection. I’ve been running in them for a few months now and can honestly say I love them. They’re a true, deep opaque black, with really distinctive silver stripes around the lower legs, that are reflective. They have everything I look for- a big zip pocket, a deep, comfy waistband and even a one-piece drawcord- such a simple touch but one I really like from other kit I have with it. A firm thumbs up from me! They’ve also been through the wash umpteen times now with no mishaps, and run bang on true to size.
The other piece of kit I’ve been testing for the past few months is the Hipster from running brand Nathan. It’s a soft, wide, slip-on waistband, with zip-free pockets for all your valuables and bits you’d like to take out running. When Nathan offered me one to try, I was deeply sceptical, but if it’d leave me somewhere to keep gels, keys and my phone for opportunistic selfies and podcasts, I was game.
Happily, I was surprised. I’ve regularly loaded up the belt, and for the first time ever, I haven’t had annoying jiggling or jangling of keys. The belt is tight enough to hold items still and secure despite the lack of zips, but because it’s stretchy, it can fit absolutely loads in. With it being slip on it has no scratchy Velcro, so it’s super comfy- just like another waistband on your tights or shorts. It’s definitely a good option if you see some tights you HAVE to get, but they don’t have pockets. It can take a few miles to find where the Hipster naturally sits on your, well, hips or waist, but once it settles it stays pretty still. Just like the tights, this has been washed at least once a week through the winter, and is as good as new!
This winter, I’ve also got into running with headphones in for the first time. Unless I’m doing a hard session and the power playlist of chart pop cheese, jangly indie and some angry rock needs to come out, I’m really loving podcasts this winter, as a way to keep myself amused on long runs, either laugh a lot (looking at you, My Dad Wrote a Porno), learning about ironman training (The OxygenAddict Tri podcast) or chuckling at Laura Fountain’s funny running podcast
Do you run with music or podcasts regularly? I’m new to the podcast world, so if you have any good suggestions, leave me a comment!
The Tribesports tights and Nathan Hipster were both sent to me in the autumn to test out, and these are my honest opinions after a few months of heavy usage.
Photos courtesy of James at Pedals and Pain for the price of a lot of moaning about the cold and a coffee to say thankyou. Taken at Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales.