This year has already produced a number of snow storms and cold weather, occasionally in places that are not accustomed to lower temperatures. The short days, icy roads, and low temperatures can be a challenge.
Don’t let the weather derail your running plans. Instead, follow these tips to stay warm and safe on your next winter run.
#1 Dress For The Season, But Don’t Overdress
When you first step outside, you’ll be cold. Once you start moving, your body temperature will rise and those extra layers will overheat you. Take into account where you live. If it is cold but sunny, wear fewer layers as you will warm up quickly. If it is dark and cold, then add a little more warmth.
Dress as though it is about 20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is. Since the winter cold often brings darkness, make sure you are easily viewable to a motorist. Wear reflective gear and bright colors.
#2 Warm Up Inside
Before heading out on the run, get your body temperature up inside. This will help you regulate your temperature and dress for the run more appropriately. It will also help alleviate any tightness in your joints. Try a brisk warm-up that includes foam rolling, stretching, and walking to get your joints and heart ready for the outdoor air.
#3 Keep Your Hands, Feet, And Ears Warm
Cold weather can make extremities go numb. Avoid this by wearing proper gear. Wear gloves, warm socks, and earmuffs or a headband that covers your ears.
Finding gear that wicks away sweat will also help you stay warm. Wet feet in freezing temperatures can be dangerous. Protect them with Crazy Compression’s moisture-wicking socks. Keep an extra pair on hand for when you accidentally step into a puddle and need a quick change.
#4 Know When To Cancel The Run
According to various experts, like the American College of Sports Medicine, -18 degrees Fahrenheit is the cutoff point for running outside. Of course, if the ground is covered in ice, to avoid slipping and causing an injury that will sideline your efforts, tackle the treadmill instead.
Pay special attention to your body and the signs it’s giving you. The cold winter air can cause your muscles to tighten, shortness of breath, and even dizziness. If these occur, it’s time to take a knee. Discuss with your doctor concerns such as chest pains, asthma attacks, and dizziness.
#5 Change Your Clothes
Don’t stay in your sweaty running clothes. As your body temperature begins to drop, you’ll get cold quickly. As soon as you are done with the run switch to warm, dry clothing.
Running in the cold has its benefits. It wakes you up, improves energy levels, and gives you the extra edge in working towards your running goals before race season arrives. With the right gear, mindset, and attention to detail, a winter run may be exactly what you need!