Friday, January 18, 2013

Cold Weather Running Tips!

Here in Ohio, we are firmly ensconced in winter- which definitely makes me miss the lovely fall running days! However, if you are like me and avoid the treadmill at any cost, here are some winter weather running tips that will keep you from putting on the winter pounds without relegating you to the boredom of the treadmill!

  •  Let your body gradually adjust:  Just as it takes time for your body to adjust to running in the heat and humidity of the summer, it also takes a few runs for your body to get used to running in colder weather.  Do not aim for your fastest, hardest or longest runs right away
  •  Gloves: my hands are always the first thing to get cold, so a pair of running gloves is a must! My favorite pair so far has been the Mizuno Breath thermo gloves.
  •   Dress as if the weather were 20 degrees warmer: this is the hardest for me, because I HATE being cold!! I am always tempted to put on a million layers, but over time I have learned that the tip of dressing for your run as if the temperature is 20 degrees warmer is really true.  It is normal to be a little chilly when you first start running, but once you get going your body will warm up and you will be glad that you did not wear your heaviest winter wool coatJ
  • Wear technical fabrics: As the owner of my favorite running store always says, “Cotton is Rotten!”  Even in the winter you want to make sure that you are wearing tech clothing so that the moisture is wicked away from your body.
  • Change quickly after a run: You may not notice the cold or the damp while you are running, but the moment that you stop running your body starts to cool down and there is nothing worse than being in cold, wet running clothes.  So to avoid getting chilled, change out of your running clothes as quickly as possible- from head to toe, including socks and sports bra.
  •  Tread carefully: it is really important that you pay attention to the road/sidewalk if you are running in the winter- you do not want to be injured by slipping on black ice or snow.  And if it is really icy, it is probably best to exercise caution and stick to the treadmill.
  •  Moisturize: Running in the cold air can chap your face and lips easily! Make sure to use a good moisturizer and chapstick before and after your run. One of my good friends Ann swears by Carmex!
  •  Wear reflective gear:  since the winter mornings and evenings are darker longer, it is really important to make sure that you take precautions to make sure that cars can see you.  Even though I always feel like I am on safety patrol, I make sure to wear a reflective running vest if I am going out for a run in the dark.  There are also lights that you can attach to your clothing or wear around your leg/arm, hats with lights, etc… the important thing is to make sure you are easily visible!

These are just some of the tips that I have used to stick with my running regimen during the winter without having to be relegated to the treadmill. Do you have any tips to share?

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