4 Running Tips for Winter Workouts
Running workouts can be difficult when it’s cold outside during the winter months.
It’s important that runners stay on their game even when the weather isn’t agreeing with a quick run outside. But if you’re going to continue your regimen outside when it’s super cold, it’s important to remember these details.
1. Stay Visible. Wear bright clothing and have something that’s reflective. You could wear a reflective vest, or just have some sort of detail on your clothing that’s reflective. Also bring a head lamp to make sure that cars, and other people, can see you, especially if you’re running while it’s snowing. Running with someone will also make you stand out more
2. Safety Over Speed. Running in the winter means you’re probably not going to be running at your normal speed. Take it slow and be mindful of icy patches. Falling and hurting yourself because you were running at a faster speed won’t be worth it when spring and summer come along. Instead, work on your endurance this winter—run at a slower pace, but over a longer distance
3. Stay Warm. If you’re going to run outside this winter, dress right! It’s important to cover all the major extremities, like your nose, fingers and ears. Wear gloves, wear a hat, or try balaclavas (Balaclavas go over your whole head, and have holes for your eyes and nose; similar to what you may wear skiing or snowboarding). For the rest of your body, wear some wool, especially on your feet. Staying warm also means warming your body up inside before going outside. Do a light jog around the house, or run up and down some stairs inside. Getting your heart rate up before you go outside will help you get warmer quicker outside.
4. Be Aware. Frostbite and hypothermia are definitely possibilities this winter. Be mindful of weather alerts, and don’t risk it—the consequences aren’t worth getting a run in. Remember that hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature falls below 95 degrees. When the skin is damp, you’re more likely to develop hypothermia. Frostbite is also another harsh reality of the winter moths. It occurs when the skin temperature is below 32 degrees and will most likely occur on the nose, ears, cheeks, fingers and toes. It starts with tingling, burning, aching and redness, and can eventually go to numbness. Be aware of the wind chill and don’t go for a run outside when it’s less than -18 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill.
If you follow all of these tips, and it’s still too cold outside, try other ways to get your run in. Try a new gym to take advantage of the treadmill. Mix it up and use the elliptical, stair climber, and if there’s an indoor (heated!) pool near you, use that! As a runner, cross training never hurts and can even make you stronger. Just remember to stay warm and safe this winter no matter where you choose to get your run in.
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