In the winter, weather conditions can change drastically over the course of a few days – or even hours. Listed here are tips for making the most of your winter runs.
Dress in Layers
In cold weather it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. A sweat wicking t-shirt and wool blend technical long sleeve will usually suffice for most cold runs. If wind or rain is in the forecast, consider adding a weather-resistant jacket as well.
Keep your Neck Warm
Never underestimate the effect of having exposed skin during a blustery day. Keep your neck warm by investing a warm buff or gaiter, preferably one that is lightweight and sweat-wicking.
Invest in Good Gloves
Cold hands can make or break a run. Look for wind-resistant, waterproof gloves that will keep your hands warm in any type of weather. For additional coziness, consider heavy duty mittens over a thin garden glove.
If you live in a particularly snowy or icy region, consider weather yaktrax may be best for you. These spiked outer soles attach to any shoe and impart additional traction. An alternative method is to drill screws through your shoes, producing makeshift spikes.
Wear Reflective Clothing
If you run before or after work, chances are that part of your run will be in the dark. Make sure to wear reflective clothing or an LED light-up vest in order to stay safe on the roads.
Be Conscious of Hydration
Just because you are producing less sweat does not mean you can ignore your hydration needs. If you wear a hydration pack in the summer, strap one on in the winter as well – at least for long runs.
Try out our Hydrosleeve.
Warm Up Your Lungs
If you are a morning runner, you likely have felt the searing sting of cold air in your lungs as you step out the door. For runners with asthma or other respiratory disorders, this sudden shock to the system can be dangerous. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up your lungs before heading outside by performing jumping jacks or pushups.
Allow extra time to warm up your muscles in the winter so as not to strain a hamstring or calf. Spend the first 800 – 1600 m of your run jogging at a slower pace than normal until you feel like you are ready to roll.
Warm Up Post-Run
Immediately after your run, it is important to warm your core body temperature. Take a hot shower as soon as possible and sip coffee, tea, or cocoa. At the very least, change your clothes ASAP so that you don’t waste additional energy regulating your body temperature.
Have a Backup Plan
Few runners enjoy hitting the treadmill, particularly on workout or long run days. However, you should always have a backup plan in mind in case you wake up to treacherous conditions. The only thing worse than having to run on the treadmill is not getting a chance to run at all because you were not prepared.
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