There may be moments during the winter months when you’re standing on the start line of your local parkrun in the cold and rain, questioning why you decided to get out of your warm bed!
But winter parkrunning isn’t just for those hardy souls – anyone can walk, jog, run and volunteer in deepest darkest December with the right preparation and motivation.
We’ve put together five tips that can help you on your way…
1. Embrace the elements and prepare accordingly
Getting yourself organised Friday night is always a good idea, if time allows. Here are some essentials to carry with you in your bag or leave in the car:
2. Keep yourself hydrated
Even on the gloomiest of mornings, you will still sweat whilst walking, jogging and running, so make sure you have a bottle of water with you to ensure you stay hydrated before and after your parkrun. Leaving a water bottle in your bag will remind you to drink.
Once you’ve had your barcode scanned, nothing beats having a cup of something hot to warm yourself up as you chat with your fellow parkrunners. If you’re short of time or your local parkrun doesn’t have a cafe nearby, you could always be ultra-prepared and take a flask with you.
What’s that? You don’t have a reusable bottle? Or a flask? Fear not, our parkrun water flasks are made from triple-walled stainless steel meaning that as well as keeping water cold, they also keep hot drinks warm for up to 12 hours. Cheers!
You can find a range of barcode wristband, tags, and parkrun flasks here.
3. Dress appropriately
The beauty of parkrun is you can wear whatever you like, and everyone has personal preferences. Some people wear tights and gloves in August, whilst others wear shorts and a t-shirt even in a blizzard!
But there are definitely a few items that can keep you warm:
You can find a range of base layers and running kit from our friends at CONTRA. Clothing comes in 10 different sizes for men and women and every single penny of profit from CONTRA goes to parkrun, to help keep parkrun free, forever, for everyone.
4. Keep moving
If you’re like us and parkrun is the highlight of your social calendar, you could easily spend the whole morning catching up with friends old and new – but we all know standing around for too long in the cold can make your feet feel like blocks of ice.
Try to keep moving by going for a walk or a jog before the pre-run briefing. It will get the blood flowing and warm up your toes and muscles, whilst also helping to reduce the risk of injury.
5. Layer up afterwards
You did it! You braved conditions similar to those at the top of Mount Everest (probably) and you are now one parkrun closer to your next milestone.
Having survived the elements, it can be easy to stand around triumphantly and wait for your results email to drop into your inbox. But when your clothes are damp and sweaty, it’s really important to make sure you have something warm and dry to put on once you have finished to stop you getting cold.
Having a hoodie, some tights or bottoms, and some fresh socks to wear in the cafe or on your journey home are invaluable ways to stay warm. If in doubt as to how many layers you’ll need afterwards, it’s always best to have one more than you think!
You can find a range of cold weather clothing from our friends at CONTRA here.
The most important thing to always remember when it comes to parkrunning during winter is this: you are now one week closer to spring and summer!
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