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Winter is coming...

The clocks are about to turn back and the nights will be drawing in. The next few weeks will no doubt bring about rapidly-moulding pumpkins littering the streets, a biting chill in the air and the sense that it never really gets light.

Winter brings its challenges for both morning and evening runners: larks feel creakier than usual and need longer to both wake up and warm up, whilst a night owl’s sense of ‘get home and go-go-go!’ turns into more of a ‘get home and get kettle-settled.

However all is not lost! Preston Harriers has both motivated and motivating folk within its members, and some have been kind enough to share their tips to ensure both heads and bodies are in the right place to keep going over winter and feel bigger and better than the weather.

Having the right kit can make a real difference. Suggestions from current members include a lightweight gilet, in place of a jacket, as they can keep the cold off your chest, ward off light rain and - unlike jackets - leave your arms free to power you.

Lights are an absolute must but getting the right style and fit for you is vital as literally tying yourself in wire-knots or tripping over your own fallen headtorch is no fun for anyone. A good starting point may be and adjustable running lamp or a clip on vest, and getting one with a USB charging port will save you hunting down batteries.

Another seasoned runner recommends wearing a blue flashing light, feeling that they are more effective at keeping the cars away from your personal space than the typical white or red lights… I wonder why?

A neck buff and gloves are also staples – easy to put on and then shove in a pocket once your heart gets pumping. Raising the buff over the nose can also help you adjust to breathing cold air, at the start of a run at least.

Speaking of gear, putting it out the night before can be a good incentive if you’re a morning runner: the clothes are ready and waiting, get in them! Alternatively, evening runners could don one aspect of kit all day long as once you’re dressed, you’re committed, right? Socks, pants, base layer under a shirt…whatever works for you.

Where you choose to run can also make a difference with regards to how motivated you feel to go out. Some local recommendations include the lovely smooth new paths of the Preston Western Distributor road, the circular of Preston Docks (...remember, two loops make 5km), and of course the floodlit track at UCLAN which is once again open. Trackpasses for training sessions cab be purchased through logging into the MemberMojo here.

From listening to members, one recurring idea to ensure you get out the door is to make yourself accountable. This could either be by committing to a group training session out of FOMO, or pairing up with someone of a similar pace - perhaps a similar humour - and making that committment. Applying the principle of discipline helps: decide when you’re going to run and stick to that slot enough times so it becomes a know you'll be glowing after.

There are also some winter XC events to look forward to too, with the Mid Lancs cross-country league fixtures peppering the next few months. Liverpool's Sefton Park is the next event, with registration for this open now.

Finally, it can certainly be argued that summer is harder without winter training and the little improvements made throughout the winter help with events held later in new year as it toughens you up, both mentally and physically.

Preston Harriers offers a variety of different training sessions so please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

We hope to see you out in the elements soon.

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