tom-craggsTom Craggs is an Ambassador for the Cancer Research UK Winter Run Series. The race will take place in London on the 5th February 2017 and in Manchester on the 12th February 2017. To get more information and to register, please visit the website.


  1. Turn up the heat.

Driving a cold engine hard is never a great option… yet with limited training time I often see runners heading out aiming to hit top speed straightaway. In the cold weather capillaries will stay constricted for longer and synovial fluid, which helps reduce friction in your joints, is more vicious. Warm up well and you’ll perform better.


Try this: 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. If its really cold outside aim to complete some of your active stretching and drills indoors.


  1. Bust the excuses.

Consistency is everything when it comes to endurance sport. If there is one time in the year when this really gets tested it is in the run up to Christmas. Office drinks, Christmas shopping, hitting deadlines before the holidays – as a runner you will need to stay strong and focused to hold your training routine.


Try this: There are two 5 o’clocks in every day! Aim to bank your training sessions early; time pressures will mount during the day so set the alarm clock if you want to continue your development.


  1. Target driven.

Most of us find having a target sharpens the focus of your training yet those key spring races will seem a long way off in December and January. Stay on target by entering some races early in 2017 to keep on track.


Try this: The London Winter 10km takes place on closed roads on an iconic route in Central London, offering plenty of fun it’s also a fantastic flat and fast route for those hunting PBs. The Winter Run Series is will take place in London on the 5th February 2017 and in Manchester on the 12th February 2017.


  1. Stronger, faster.

The winter months will provide the foundation and platform on which you will build your fitness and PBs later on in 2017. Make a resolution with yourself to be a stronger and more resilient runner by the turn of the year.


Try this: Aim to include 2-3 conditioning sessions into your training mix each week focusing on exercises that focus on single leg stability and postural strength. If you are unsure a Pilates class can be a good starting point but also look to include single leg squats, deadlifts and basics such as press ups and chin ups as you get stronger.


  1. Account for yourself.

Endurance sport can be a lonely journey at times and never more so on those dark nights. Feeling accountable and like you have a support team around you can help you remain consistent – particularly with those tougher interval or tempo sessions.


Try this: A running coach can help support and guide you through the winter months keeping you on focus and ensuring your training is balanced with your lifestyle – helping you to avoid niggles or periods of sickness. Feel like you have a commitment to more than just yourself can help you stay focused.


  1. Get immunity. 

Your immune system is low after hard interval sessions or long runs, this combined with long working hours and the odd drink or too can see you wide open to infection and illness.


Try this: 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.