Even the most experienced runners can find it challenging to decide what to wear for winter races. We asked Asics Frontrunner Grace to share what she's learned over the years.
They say if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you, and running certainly can be as challenging as we want it to be. But with every challenge in life we face, a little help can go a long way.
For those of us who are more experienced racers, we have everything down to a tee - our pre-race meal, the shoes we like, our racing gear.
As winter approaches, one thing I have struggled with in the past is how do I layer for a winter race? How do I make sure I’m guarded against the elements, yet ready to bring my A-game on race day? Well, here are a few of my top tips, to make sure we all achieve those winter running goals.
Whatever the weather, I always ensure I layer up pre-race. Having my race kit on underneath my layers gives me confidence that I'm prepared as I'm waiting at the start.
I normally arrive kitted up in my race socks, shorts and single with leggings, a warm hoody and a rain-and-wind-proof jacket layered over the top.
I never leave without gloves and a hat if the temperature has dipped into single figures.
Making sure I get a good warm-up in pre-race with plenty of activation drills keeps me confident that my body is primed to react to the race.
With five minutes to go to the gun, I remove the outer layers. My race outfit is super-important when it comes to performing at my best.
I always opt for the ASICS sprinter short and ASICS race singlet, then accessorise with a few winter warmers so that I’m not affected by the elements but can still perform to my best.
ASICS gloves, arm warmers, winter running socks, and a winter headband keep chills at bay. If the temperature is sub-zero, a thermal vest underneath my race singlet keeps my core temperature at the desired level without overheating. By keeping my extremities and core warm, I know my body is ready and can focus my attention on my race plan.
I always ensure to plan my outfit the night before my race and check the weather forecast. If it’s wet and windy, I pack my rain gear, but if it’s dry and cold, this is where my layers are most important.
By adding gloves, headbands and arm sleeves, I know that if I’m halfway through my race and starting to overheat, I can easily take something off so that I keep my body at the right temperature and avoid overheating and dehydration, which would ultimately lead to a reduction in performance. It also means you can stay on pace without having to slow up or stop, so you have no reason not to achieve that PB!
Post-race recovery should be high on your agenda once you've crossed the finish line.
Even if you’re lost in the post-race hustle and bustle of getting your medal and post-race pictures or celebrating that PB, I would recommend getting into a change of dry warm gear as soon as possible.
It’s very easy to get cold post-race and the last thing you want is a delayed recovery post-race! So get those layers back on, do a nice, easy cool down with your mates and enjoy the post-race celebrations. Refuel with family and friends, because enjoyment is what it’s all about!
Hopefully these tips keep you cruising on race day and enjoying the winter racing season ahead.