Runners should be careful about deciding to run when the weather conditions are like the weather in the Midlands today.
The main roads were fine, but side roads and footpaths were treacherous to say the least. The ice and black ice patches made it difficult to walk, let alone run.
It's not just the risk of injury that runners need to be mindful of. Or the bitterly cold air. It’s the effect the conditions have on your ability to run well that is also an issue.
Most runners have an expectation about their performance each time they run. Some runs go well, some not so well. That’s normal.
But when the conditions are difficult it adds to the risk that your run may not go well. And that can be demoralising, especially if the bad conditions stick around for a while.
Also, deciding on a route is important. As Sam Murphy, writing in the Guardian said: “In adverse weather, consider running loops closer to home rather than tackling a long 'out and back' run, in case you need to bail out. If it's seriously windy, run into the wind when you are fresher, at the start of a run.”
A key point is having the right footwear. As Run Britain point out: “The trick is to have the right footwear. Trail shoes with a grippy outsole or with studs will help keep you on your feet and running.”
And don’t expect too much. It’s worth repeating that point. If just avoiding all the icy patches is a challenge in itself, you probably aren’t going to run a personal best.
There’s also the decision not to run at all. It’s a painful decision to make. No runners like missing a run. But it’s better to miss a run than injure yourself and end up missing multiple runs.
If there’s one type of weather that will mess up your running schedule, it’s snow and ice. You can get out there still, with the right footwear and reduced expectations of what you can achieve. But if the footpaths are covered with ice, it’s better to wait until you can at least walk safely.