5 Tips for Cold Weather Running this Winter
12/9/2020 - Jami Lewin - Running
Whether you have been an avid runner for years or you just recently picked up the habit, make sure you are ready for running this season with the following tips:
1. Keep the Weather and Temp in Mind
During the colder months, you really need to be mindful of the weather outside, particularly if the temperature often falls below zero where you live.
If the temperature outside is below freezing, consider cutting your run a little shorter than you normally would to avoid complications such as frostbite or hypothermia. If the temperature drops below zero, do not stay out longer than 30 minutes.
The same goes for precipitation of any kind. In many cases, cold weather and rain can actually be riskier than running in the snow, so you are best to keep your run short if rain, snow, or any other form of precipitation makes an appearance.
2. Wait for Snow to Be Cleared
While it might seem like a nuisance to wait around for your daily jog, especially if you are used to running first thing in the morning, it will be worth the wait.
Waiting for snowplows to come around and for sidewalks to be shoveled will ensure that there are no hazards in your path to break your stride or throw off your groove by causing you to navigate around unexpected obstacles. You will also reduce the risk of slipping and suffering a season-ending injury.
3. Cool Down and Warm Up Safely
After your chilly jog, you will certainly want to warm up quickly. However, it is not advisable to sprint directly into a scalding shower after your run.
Without cooling off first, you may experience uncomfortable muscle cramps, and by jumping in the shower too soon, your body may be too cold and numb to recognize when the water temperature is hot enough to be harmful .
Make sure to cool down adequately by walking at an even pace until your heart rate and breathing have returned to normal. You can shed layers as necessary, but you do not want to shock your system; start with unzipping your coat but leaving it on until you return inside.
Next, consider sitting inside and warming up with some hot tea or cocoa. After your core has had a chance to warm up and your extremities have adjusted, jumping into a warm shower will be comforting and safe.
4. Wear the Right Gear
Also, you will always want to have a pair of gloves and ear coverings with you, just in case.
Finally, be wary of your feet. If at any point your socks become damp or wet, you should return home immediately. Water-resistant, winter running shoes and tip #2 above will help ensure that you stay dry in the first place.
5. Take it Easy
Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t get discouraged if you’re not hitting the times or distances that you were able to earlier in the year. Running during the wintertime is not like running during any other season, and it is natural for your pace to be slower and for you to experience more fatigue during the winter months.
Take it easy and remember not to push yourself too hard.
Looking for more cold weather running advice? Be sure to check out our Cold Weather Running page for all the latest information and gear.
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