But as well as needing some decent sports clothes, a good pair of running trainers and a positive mental attitude, it’s also important to consider your safety, especially this time of year. With winter drawing in don’t forget to read these tips for running outdoors in winter.
Wear high viz clothing
Be seen or be, well, squashed potentially. With the winter sun setting before most people leave work it’s highly likely that you’ll often be running in the dark during these months and so it’s important to make yourself an easy spot for other road users to avoid nasty accidents. Although some sports shoes and running clothing can contain reflective parts, high viz clothing really is a must if you want to be seen to be safe. A simple and modern option is the Vizipro collection from Saucony. The new Epic Run Jacket has been specifically designed to offer the best protective visibility in low-light running conditions, with the addition of an LED light on the sleeve – so you're set to light up the night and blaze a trail.
Don’t be a victim
Running alone in the dark brings another potential danger; setting yourself up as a victim to malicious individuals. For that reason, try to run with a buddy, tell someone when and where you are running, vary your routes whilst staying within well lit areas and avoid deserted places. Taking a mobile phone and some money is always a good idea too, in case you need to be picked up or take a bus home.
Stay warm and dry
Layering your running clothing is key in winter, as it means you can start fully clothed and take off layers to avoid sweating too much and losing vital body heat. You’ll warm up quite quickly, so if you’re leaving the house toasty warm, you’ve probably got too much on – it’s best to start off feeling slightly chilly.
Running gear specialist Brett Bannister from SportsShoes.com says: “Remember, you’ll need extra motivation in winter, so getting this right will give you that extra push. The hardest bit is getting yourself outside of your warm and toasty indoor environment, but once you’ve done it, you’ll never come back feeling worse.”
A long-sleeved running top and running tights topped off with a wind-proof running jacket, hat and gloves make for a good winter running wardrobe. Go for light-weight, breathable, windproof and waterproof fabrics that wick moisture away from your body. Also look out for compression clothing- professional sports people everywhere, from football to athletics, are wearing it. Nike Pro’s range is great value and the Vent mock Neck Compression Top makes for a great base layer. Alternatively, the Skins Sports Lady range fits great and comes in some vibrant coloured designs.
Avoid bad smells
As winter running often means getting caught in the rain, extra attention should be paid to your running shoes so that a) they do not smell revolting, b) they will last longer and c) you avoid a cold! There are three things you can do to avoid these from happening;
1) After running clean damp running shoes with a cloth and remove the insoles for airing so that smells are eliminated.
2) Newspaper stuff shoes so that moisture from inside the shoe is absorbed by paper that can by thrown away, rather than staying in the shoe.
3) Always wear proper running socks as these repel wetness away from your feet, keeping them warm inside the shoe.
So, although running in the winter can be a rejuvenating experience, you need to be aware to make it a safe and enjoyable one. Make sure you’re visable, let somebody know your route, stay warm and dry and above all enjoy it! For more running tips and product information please see www.SportsShoes.com.
 Mintel study ‘Sport and Exercise - Ten Year Trends - UK - July 2010’