Winter and running may not be two things that you would put in the same sentence. However, winter running can be a great way to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors. Here are four tips to help you prepare for winter running:
1. Choose The Right Gear:
Layering up is the way to go when running in the winter. You will need to wear less than you think since your body heats up with activity. As a rule of thumb, you need to dress for 10 degrees warmer than it is outside. A good wicking layer is to be worn closest to the skin, a fleece, a long pair of running pants and a jacket to protect you from the wind is often enough to keep you warm. Make sure to keep your head and hands covered as well. Avoid cotton socks – they will absorb sweat and make your feet cold. You may find that you feel a little chilled when you first go outside but you will quickly warm up as you start running and your body temperature increases. Dress so that you are slightly uncomfortably cool but not miserably cold when you first walk outside.
Some people choose to wear the same sneakers year round. This will depend on how much snow and ice you are running on as to see if it is the right choice for you. Some choose to go with a sneaker with deeper treads during the winter months such as a trail sneaker. Others like to run using grippers with metal spikes to aid in getting better traction on snowy and icy roads. Also, ensure that you choose the right shoe for your foot type and talk to your chiropractor to see if orthotics may be of benefit to you. For more information on orthotics and how they can help improve your biomechanics and decrease your chances of injury, follow this link.
3. Stay Hydrated:
Hydration is still important. Don’t think that because it’s cold out, you don’t need to drink water during your run. Hydration is important when exercising regardless of the temperature. Failure to drink sufficient amount of water while exercising can create the same problems regardless of outside temperatures; dehydration and fatigue-related injuries.
4. Safety First:
Warm up! Never start exercising intensely without doing a proper warm up. Run on the spot and get your muscles and joints warmed up and ready for the run. Run with a buddy. This helps to keep you motivated and on pace. It is also nice to run with a friend when running at night or on slippery surfaces where injuries may be more likely to occur. Make sure to let someone at home know your running route and time to expect you back home. When visibility is decreased, make sure to wear reflective and visible clothes.
Winter running can be fun and enjoyable with a little prep work and dedication to achieving your goal. Happy and safe winter running!
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