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Healthy Winter Training

Many #teamsja runners will now be starting the early stages of their running journey for the spring and we want you to stay as consistent as possible even with the darker nights rolling in and cold days beginning to bite. Staying healthy and motivated is key so here are a few top tips to help you along the way;

Layer up. Layers are the way to go in winter. Several thin layers of running specific, wicking fabrics will allow you strip down as you warm up. Focus on high-viz clothes too to keep you safe and seen.

Accessorize. Hats, gloves and arms warmers can be great additions to your training kit. As they are small and lightweight they won’t leaving you feeling weighed down by clothes but they really will help keep you warm in the areas your body tends to lose most heat.

Warm up slowly. In cold weather it is going to take you longer to warm up properly. Capillaries stay constricted for longer and muscles feel more stiff, so you might find breathing more difficult in the first ten to 15 minutes of a session. Allow longer than you normally would for easy running and drills before you start to attack faster paces and intervals. You might even consider warming up indoors with some active stretching, drills or skipping. You can check out more at

Blood testing. If you are find yourself regularly getting sick, and finding your energy levels hard to maintain in training a blood test could be a very wise investment as it can highlight some of the underlying factors such as your immune health, stress and inflammatory makers. Chat to your GP or even carry our your own using one of the remote blood testing services out there such as Medichecks (

Eat yourself healthy. Micronutrients drawn from vitamins and minerals help you to support your immunes system and it’s vital you focus on keeping a broad and health diet as you train harder in the winter months. Focus on fruit and veg high in vitamin A (carrots, sweet potato, dark green veg, apricots and mangos are all great options) and vitamin C (blackcurrents and citrus fruits). Aim to get in a portion of pumpkin seeds regularly.

Sleep well. You’ll see sleep popping up a lot in our #teamsja tips. Sleep is vital to developing your immune health, for more check out our advice at

Sessions to suit conditions. If it is freezing outside it's unrealistic to expect your body, or mind for that matter, to hit short, hard interval work early in a session. Consider sessions that build intensity and speed as they progress. A progression run of 15 minutes easy, 15 minutes steady and 15 minutes at a level of controlled discomfort is recommended.

Wrap up quickly. Your immune system is low after hard interval sessions or long runs. Make sure you bring spare clothes with you to the gym, club or your own sessions, so you can quickly remove damp clothes immediately after your session and cool down in dry, warm garments. This will help to stop you picking up bugs and infections. Get indoors too for your post run stretching session.

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