Winter Running Tips
Whether you’ve signed up for any number of winter fun runs, are training for an upcoming race, or just want to break out of the monotony of the dreaded treadmill, getting outside for a run in the cold weather months can be fun and invigorating. It does, however, come with its own unique set of perils that shouldn’t be ignored.
The following are three tricks for staying safe and warm this winter.
- Layers, Layers, Layers: Running outdoors requires a fine balance of dressing for the weather, avoiding bulk, and staying dry. This means wearing some sort of wicking fabric as a base layer, followed by an additional layer of insulation while avoiding getting too hot and sweaty (all that moisture can turn into hypothermia once it cools down). I’m a fan of lightly insulated running tights, long-sleeve dry-wick or wool tops, a wind-breaking jacket, and of course gloves and hats for our extremities.
- Stay Hydrated: We often don’t “feel” as thirsty in the winter as we do in the brutal hot summer months, but keeping hydrated is more important than ever as our bodies work overtime to keep us moving. Because the water fountains are turned off this time of year, make sure to bring along a water bottle. I always keep electrolyte packets or tablets around for a post-workout treat. And don’t forget to keep the skin hydrated as well. Wind burn, chapping, and all-around dryness are more prevalent in the winter and can be easily cured with lip balm, lotion and face cream.
- Grab a Friend: Everything is more fun with a buddy! But as the days get shorter, the roads get icier and the weather gets increasingly unpredictable, it is important to head outside in pairs. Running partners help keep us motivated, accountable to our goals and most importantly, safe. At the very least, text a friend and let them know you’re headed out for a run and when you expect to be back.