Summer is over – but that’s no reason to mothball your running shoes. Our tips will help you stay tuned in autumn and winter
Outside, the darkness covers the city like a cold blanket; inside, macaroni, “Mad Men” and a plump wool sweater beckon. After a day in the office, the sofa looks like an invitation to let yourself go. It is just beginning to drizzle. Under the pale street lights, the rain looks like a wet, gray wall. There are plenty of reasons to take your running shoes down to the basement in autumn and winter and leave them there until spring. But there are even more reasons to defy the weather and still go on the track. Because no matter how gray the sky is: the body is happy to have fresh air.
Let’s go! The first breaths are cold, but they do you good. They ensure that the body boosts the immune system; the dog’s weather stimulates the immune system. Perhaps you will shiver for the first few meters, but after five minutes at the latest it will be over: Your body comes to operating temperature, your steps become calmer, the rhythm more even. You can already be proud of yourself that you have pulled yourself up despite the adverse circumstances. You burn calories too – more than with the same load on the treadmill in the gym.
You will be halfway there in a moment. The office stress is behind you; You start to really enjoy running. A little sprint in between? Go ahead, this is good for basic endurance. What do you care about puddles on the way? You can easily jump over it and train your ability to react and balance. Now there are only a few curves left, then the final sprint and the finish line in the apartment. It was nice. You really deserve the warm shower!
In summer as in winter: Regular jogging strengthens the cardiovascular system , strengthens the musculoskeletal system and ensures psychological balance through the release of happiness hormones. Those who run in the cold season also train their immune system. Because the body forms additional killer cells to arm itself for this type of stress. They help fend off viruses and bacteria in everyday life. “Anyone who regularly runs outside in winter hardens up,” says Ingo Froboese, head of the Center for Health through Sport and Exercise at the German Sport University in Cologne . It is even healthier to run in cold temperatures than at 30 degrees in midsummer. star answers the most important questions on the topic.
Running – in any weather?
Better not. At temperatures below minus ten degrees, you are in better hands on the sofa: the body can no longer sufficiently heat the air that you breathe through your nose. It then arrives too cold in the lungs and irritates the bronchi. In freezing temperatures, it can therefore help to breathe through a thin cloth in front of your mouth.
What do i wear
Even when it’s cold: don’t overdress. As soon as your body gets going, you are guaranteed to be warm. Dress according to the onion principle so that you can take off your layers while you run: Wear thin functional underwear that wicks sweat away from your skin. It is best to pull a fleece sweater over it. When it rains and is very windy, a breathable, water-repellent jacket comes over it. If the temperature drops below ten degrees, a hat, gloves and a thin scarf will help against the cold. Cotton clothing is not suitable in winter because it does not wick moisture away from the body. Do not spend a long time outside sweaty after the run: “The best thing to do is to put on a dry T-shirt quickly,” advises Ingo Froboese.
Better to walk in the woods?
Often, working people only come to the weekend to jog in daylight. Make this training an event: Find a route through fields, woods and meadows. Due to the slightly hilly relief, the body is forced to use different muscles than when running on the flat. “Above all, the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles are more stressed in the terrain,” says Froboese. “It is best to increase the angle of the inclines slowly and continuously.” While running uphill, try to control your speed and cushion the steps. “In no case should you let your body fall on the straight leg.”
How often, how long?
Because the cardiovascular system has to work harder in cool weather to bring organs and muscles up to temperature, you should keep your exercise heart rate five to ten beats lower than in summer – and increase the length of the generally recommended 30 to 45 minutes Stretch for 45 to 60 minutes. “In this way, winter serves to build up basic endurance,” says Ingo Froboese. The body then also needs less time to regenerate. “Instead of going out two to three times a week as in summer, you can go out onto the track three to four times.” This recommendation applies to a 25-year-old as well as a 60-year-old.
Running with a cold?
The person sitting next to you on the bus is coughing, the colleague in the office has been complaining of malaise for days – no wonder if you feel limp yourself shortly afterwards. If your nose is runny and you have neither a fever nor a cough, you can still dare a light run with a low intensity. However, if you have had a full- blown flu-like infection with headaches, sore throats and limbs , you should not do it – even if you have relieved the symptoms with medication.
If you have a fever, it is absolutely forbidden to run! Because it is not the disease itself that is dangerous, but the stresses of training, which can further weaken the body. He now needs all his strength to deal with the viruses. In the worst case, a febrile cold that has been dragged on can lead to inflammation of the heart muscle. A good indicator of whether you are already fit for a sports unit is your resting heart rate. Everyone should know their individual worth in a healthy state. Measure it in the morning when you wake up. When the body is struggling with an infection, the resting heart rate is increased – an unmistakable sign that your body has a few more days to recover.
How do I make sure that I am seen?
Illuminated courses are rare, unfortunately. The best way to spot tripping hazards in the dark is to get a headlamp. They are now so light and the belt is so well padded that you can hardly feel them. It is also important to be seen by drivers. Light-colored clothing, as is often recommended, is impractical – who wants to wash all of their sports gear after every run? It’s better to get reflective clothing or a couple of Velcro straps with reflectors. They don’t interfere with running.
How can I animate myself?
Anyone who goes running regularly in autumn and winter deserves a medal. There are at the finish of the running competitions, which are offered throughout Germany during the cold season. Often these races lead through the terrain. New Year’s or New Year’s runs are also popular events for amateur joggers. Many participants are not interested in the best times – they just want to work off the serious consequences of the Advent season.
Which shoes are suitable?
As long as the trails are dry, you can wear the same ones as in summer. It is important that they have a non-slip profile and have no holes. “Many runners think that their old shoes will get them through the winter and don’t buy new ones until spring. But good running shoes are particularly important in wet times,” says Ingo Froboese. He advises changing them every 600 kilometers. If it rains, your feet will quickly get wet, even in new shoes. Froboese: “That’s not bad. You should change your socks quickly afterwards.” If you travel a lot on muddy trails, off-road or trail shoes can be a good solution. They are equipped with a waterproof membrane. Most of these shoes have a higher outsole, the profile more pronounced and the heel counter reinforced. Off the beaten track, you will find better grip with these shoes – but you lose flexibility. The following applies to purchases: do not go to the sports shop until the afternoon or evening because your feet swell up during the day. Take a pair of worn out sports shoes with you – a trained salesperson can use these to identify the specifics of your running style.