The benefits of cold weather marathon training

We’d like to think that March would mean the end of the winter weather wouldn’t we?  Ice, snow and scraping the car windscreen all a distant memory?  Well not necessarily.  March can bring some chilly weather of its own (remember we had snow this time last year) and that can cause havoc if you’re training to run a marathon.  But it’s not all bad news.  There are some benefits of slipping into those running shoes when the temperature’s hovering above freezing.

  1.  Burning off those Christmas calories:  We all ate too much over Christmas and so what better time to get rid of that festive flab than to get out in the cold and clock up some kilometres.  Research has shown running in cold weather actually makes you feel stronger and more confident

  2. It can boost your immune system:  One day we’ll find a cure for the common cold, but it probably won’t be today.  In the meantime, exercising in the cold can boost the immune system.  Some studies in the U.K. found that by training during the cold months, you are 20 to 30% less likely to succumb to the flu, versus those who sit out of training during the winter.

  3. Beating the winter blues:  Studies have shown that physical exercise can have a positive impact on boosting your mental health as well as your physical health.  For anyone suffering from Season Affective Disorder (SAD) a good run in the cold could certainly give your mental health a welcome shot in the arm.

It can be hard to lace up the trainers when it’s cold and wet outside, but there are benefits to braving the elements and clocking up the miles on those dark, cold days.

Don’t forget, Simon Horwood is running the London Marathon for Carers Support West Sussex.  You can support his fundraising effort here: