There is a very simple secret to how not to gain weight at Christmas. And how you never get into the diet madness in spring: You run through winter. If you do a little run every day on the Christmas holidays, you won’t get fat. No goose or biscuit can really start there.
Only those who lie lazily on the couch and completely succumb to the sins of Christmas will be amazed on the scales. In addition: Those who run through the winter will never really have to do without again. Any diet is a renunciation. No matter which program you choose: You always have to leave something out. It’s exhausting, it’s not fun, it’s just annoying. And one more thing: who with everyone Weather runs, is sick less often. Because whoever pulls through strengthens the immune system. So: there is no reason not to run in winter. But you should pay attention to these things.
1. Winter is not for best times
In any case, get good shoes. Many running shoe manufacturers offer models that are specially made for winter. They have an optimized upper material that is at least water-repellent, but better waterproof. When the GoreTex laminate is processed, you can be sure that nothing will go through this shoe. The feet stay warm and dry.
It is even more important that they stay warm. Because if your hands and feet get cold in winter, your whole body will freeze quickly and won’t do your body any good. Make sure that the sole has a little more profile. You need to be steadfast enough, especially in snow or on sodden paths. Otherwise there is a risk of injuries such as torn tendons, ankle or foot fractures, and ligaments are also often affected. Nobody needs that.
Some manufacturers offer so-called trail shoes. These have a special sole that offers more grip in mud, snow and ice. As with driving a car, however, there is one golden rule for running in winter: run according to the conditions. And that is usually much slower than regular! If you think that only running fast is effective, put that out of your mind. It is the long runs with a low pulse that will give you the best times in the next marathon. The winter itself is not for records. In spring, your running friends will be amazed.
2. The secret of the right winter running clothes
Over and over again you read that the onion tactic is the perfect winter method of dressing appropriately for running. That means nothing else than wearing several layers on top of each other, from which you can gradually get rid of if it gets too warm.
This method is completely old school. In the 1980s, this may have been state of the art because there was no mature technology. But if you have to stop again and again during the winter run – in order to change your clothes and not know what to do with the clothes you are taking off – you will get annoyed very quickly.
Furthermore, the body cannot breathe very well when it is wrapped in several layers. It is perfectly logical that you start to sweat, take off your clothes and then put them on again when it gets cold again. Constant putting on and taking off.
Technology and development are many steps ahead today. Those who pay attention to the right choice of clothing need in winter: long running pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a jacket, gloves, a hat. Finished.
If all of this is still made of breathable material, you are perfectly equipped. The skin stays dry, the body stays warm and sweat is transported to the outside. A few pieces of clothing are enough to run dry, warm and protected from the wind through the winter. That gives a lot of freedom of movement. These running clothes are not the cheapest on the market. But it lasts for years and with two sets you can get through the entire cooler season.
3. Take care of your heart!
90 percent of all inexperienced runners run too fast. This quickly leads to frustration, because whoever gasps after a few meters will soon lose the fun of running. Totally unnecessary.
You can remedy this with a minimum of effort: Many sports medicine specialists offer a breathing gas analysis. Your ideal pulse rate is determined here. The fairy tale of the universal combustion pulse of 130 is a pure myth. The pulse is completely individual, and everyone has their own pulse range.
During the breathing gas analysis, both the minimum and maximum heart rate are determined. This is how you can find out at what pulse rate you can lose weight best. A heart rate monitor with which you have constant control of your heartbeat during the run is essential. Most watch manufacturers can get a measurement that is almost EKG accurate. Breathing gas analysis and watch are an investment of around 300 to 500 euros. However, this money is really well spent. After all, you want to run healthy through the winter.
4. Never diet again
Whoever starts the running winter now, who now starts to run regularly, can afford some Christmas cookies, the Christmas goose or a glass of mulled wine without gaining weight. But if you pay more attention to your diet, you will certainly lose pounds in combination with regular running training.
Look out for seasonal winter products. Cabbage, for example, in its various types is a real source of energy that contains an incredible amount of vitamins and minerals. A real power food that can be prepared in different ways. If you like, you can create a smoothie from kale, some apple, an orange and half a banana.
Eat a lot of fruits like apples or pineapples. Both fruits are good and cheap to buy right now. They are low in calories and fill you up. If you want, you can stir a little soy yoghurt into the fruit – so you still have valuable proteins in the tank.
Try to drink plenty of water and tea right after your run. In cold temperatures, you usually feel less thirsty because you supposedly sweat less. A fallacy. Tip: Fresh ginger is available cheaply all year round. Cut some slices, put them in a jug and fill them with hot water. After six to seven minutes you will have a fresh ginger tea, which provides many vitamins and stimulates the metabolism. Even those who have joint pain should resort to the super tuber. It often alleviates the discomfort.
Anyone who does not eat too fat in winter, greatly reduces sugar, avoids alcohol and runs three to four times a week will be a slim power pack in spring.
That’s how it works!
Read all of Mike Kleiss’s other columns here.