Preparing for a run in Irish weather

Preparing for a run in Irish weather

We don’t think it’s a stretch to say that running season is in full flight. It seems like everyone is out running these days and signing up for half marathons. With that territory comes the natural occurrence of novices taking up the habit. And that’s great! We fully applaud and respect people taking on a new challenge. It can be daunting and intimidating, but half the battle is going in prepared.

Of course one of the biggest battles people face when starting out running in Ireland is our unpredictable weather. If you’re going to follow a training plan you need to be consistent and not let anything stop you, hail rain or shine. And let’s be honest, you will encounter all three on any given day in Ireland. In order to prepare for the elements you need to plan ahead, ensuring you have the right clothing, equipment, etc.

Here’s some tips to get you through training in the changeable weather: 

1. Learn to Layer 

This might sound obvious but a lot of runners heat up quite quickly while they run and find layers uncomfortable during distance runs. Try choosing light, breathable layers that are easy to take on and off as your body temperature changes. 

Carefully consider your base layer, ensuring to wear something that will help insulate you without causing you to sweat too much. Add a lightly insulated vest for your mid-layer ensuring to keep your arms and shoulders free for movement. For particularly windy days, choose a light shell jacket or windbreaker that you can easily tie around your waist if it gets too warm. Avoid cotton in all your layers as once it gets wet, it makes you colder. 

Lots of runners prefer to wear shorts no matter what time of year, however a good pair of running tights is always a good investment. You might need to get a thicker pair for those chillier days. Even better if you can find a pair with a side pocket to hold your phone/keys.

It’s always a good idea to wear a hat and/or gloves at the beginning of your run if you are a particularly cold-blooded person. But often, this time of year, it’s too warm for a thick beanie, so check out our newest accessory The Feadán, our version of a running buff. These are good for wearing on the head or around the face and neck to protect from the elements.

A big tip when running in cold weather is to change quickly after you’ve finished, swapping out your running top for new dry layers so as to not lose your body heat too quickly.

2. Know your route 

It's a good idea to plan your route ahead and preload it to your running app. Strava or other similar apps are great for recommending routes to match your distance but it’s easy to zone out and get disorientated when out running. If you’re a trail runner in particular and trialing new paths, especially in poor weather conditions, it's important to familiarise yourself with the route in advance. Invest in a good watch or fitness tracker, make sure your phone is charged and if possible send your location to a friend for extra safety. (lots of apps have this safety feature built in).

3. Stay Alert

Keep your eyes to the ground for obstructions – at this time of year particularly, you can easily hit an icy patch and suffer a fall. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Try stick to more commonly used paths and avoid areas/routes that are shadowy and sheltered from the sun as they are more likely to be slippy.

4. Wear SPF 

Yes, even in the wintery dull days. The winter sun is very deceptive and when you are out for a long run you are exposing yourself to harmful rays. So wear your SPF or pop a hat on to keep yourself protected. No harm to pop on a pair of running sunglasses too if you have them.

5. Invest in a good pair of runners.

Do your research on this as it’s the most important part of your running attire. Choosing the right pair of running shoes can not only improve performance but help prevent injury. Lots of specialist sports shops have gait analysis in store now that will help you to understand what type of footwear is best for you. Pick your runners based on the terrain but also the distances you plan on running. Don’t get swept up in fashion trends or styles, choose for comfort and suitability for you. If you suffer from any back or foot conditions, then definitely consult your doctor before proceeding. 

We hope these little tips help you on your journey. Happy trails Outwesters!

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