Winter Running Tips
Last weekend we had our first snowfall of the season and let me tell you, I was not mentally prepared for the sudden onset of cold weather and driving my car on snowy, icy roads.
I’m trying to get back into running on a regular basis but in the fall and winter it can be hard to muster up the motivation to head outside for a jog.
I go to the gym several times per week but I loathe the treadmill. There is nothing more boring than trying to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Even if you have good music playing through your ear buds, it’s still so boring.
There are two main concerns for people who want to run outdoors in the winter, the cold temperatures and safety.
Nobody wants to spend their entire run freezing to death or accidentally slipping on ice and snow and injuring themselves. Now that the days are getting shorter there is less daylight time to spend outdoors which means not only do you have to battle cold, icy weather conditions, you may also be running in the dark!
There are some things you can do to ensure a safe and successful outdoor run over the winter months. Here are my best tips for running and jogging this winter.
Invest in the proper gear
Let’s talk about sweat. Sweat from your body makes your clothes wet. Wearing wet clothes while out in freezing temperatures is a recipe for hypothermia.
Ideally you want to wear running clothes that will wick away the moisture from your body and keep you dry. Make sure you dress in layers. Wearing a running shell over your thermal running top can add extra warmth while you start your run and can be removed once you get going and start to feel hot.
I always wear light gloves and ear warmers while I am running. These parts of my body always get really cold despite how warm the core of my body gets while exercising.
Another thing to consider when running outdoors is your visibility to drivers and other dangers on the road.
I like to wear neon colors or a reflective vest. When I’m running at night I will also wear a head lamp and carry a small flashlight. I always run on the sidewalk but I don’t trust anyone driving near me. Being visible is my number one priority.
Although I usually run with a friend, occasionally I will run by myself. If I’m alone I only put in one of my ear buds and I keep the music low so that no one can sneak up on me.
One of the most dangerous aspects of running in the winter is the risk of slipping on ice or tripping on objects that can hide underneath the snow.
You can buy traction cleats that slip on top of your running shoes. These will help prevent slipping on ice and snow.
If wearing gloves and a hat isn’t enough to keep you warm while you run try purchasing little hand warmers to hold onto and keep your fingers from freezing.
Another thing to remember is that stretching before you run is even more important in the winter. Your muscles are more prone to injury if you haven’t warmed up enough.
Going on an outdoor run during the winter months can be fun, challenging and and very serene if you take the proper precautions to keep yourself safe and injury free.
What are your best winter running tips? Share with me in the comments!