January blues taking their toll? Surprisingly, my answer is get outside. Just the other week I was reading in the Sunday Times Magazine that there are multiple health benefits to keeping your fitness training outdoors during the Winter months such as increased immune system. Of course, keeping your training outdoors requires more motivation than during balmy mornings, so make your life more comfortable by investing in the right kit.
Whether running or cycling outside in Winter, it is my hands which suffer the most. That is why, when Autumn made itself known, I invested in a pair of waterproof clothes. Mine were from Sweaty Betty, sadly no longer available, but the principle is nothing too thick (you will warm up as you get going and so you can play with your stopwatch/keys/phone), waterproof and feature a reflective strip for visibility.
I possess a Partnership Card which is a credit card that rewards me with vouchers redeemable in John Lewis and Waitrose for using it. Over 2014, I accumulated £30 worth of vouchers which meant I was able to indulge in a new sports bra, for free! I opted for the Nike Pro Fierce Compression Sports Bar in dusty cactus/volt. I love its bright colours without having to opt for pink. My “assets” are certainly motionless when running or cycling, my only qualm is that with out having a fastening at the back this bra requires a little wriggle to get out of.
Thank goodness it is getting lighter outside. When I first took up running I promised my brother I would never go running in the dark, so many of the attacks you hear of are on lone runners in the dark. This means I either only schedule my run for when I am on later work shifts and the sun has risen, or if there is no choice, I use the deathly dull treadmill in my garage. I bought these Rucanor arm blinkers, not for running in the dark as advertised, but for my cycle to early morning/late evening swim training. The velcro fastenings means they are easily adjustable for when you are wearing them over few or many layers and you can opt for flashing or constant shine LED lights. Last week I wore them to get to swim squad, on meeting one of my fellow members outside the pool she commented on how far away she had been able to spot me.
Rain is also an element outdoor training needs to embrace so a waterproof of some sort is an essential piece of training kit. New to Sweaty Betty and my latest kit envy is their 3 in 1 All Trail Jacket. It is waterproof and has an adjustable drawcord hood to keep out the rain whilst also featuring an adjustable inner jacket and inner thermal layer for maintaining body temperature. If you are mixing outdoor cardio with strength training, the adjustable sleeve lengths allows you to keep your body heat comfortable for your activity. Style pros are the thumb holes in the inner jacket which means the sleeves stay where they should do, the box pleat at the back which creates a feminine silhouette and the urban cool pattern which is easily coordinate with many colours of running or cycle leggings.
Despite doing my best to hold Winter at bay, I would rather sweat buckets in the sun than lose the feeling in my limbs.