In the summer, we get too hot and we’re forced to slow down. In the winter, without the proper equipment, we might not even become warm enough to feel comfortable during our run. So, if you don’t have access to a treadmill use the following 10 tips to master the elements.
Sounds like common sense but, being warm makes the cold feel bearable. Maybe you can run up and down the stairs at home, do a quick strength session (squats, lunges, etc) or maybe even clean your house really fast. All of these will warm you up enough to get the blood pumping through your body, produce heat and help you stay warm out there. Just make sure you warm up indoors.
2.Pick the Right Shoes
Whether you’re facing rain or snow, try to use a shoe with the least amount of mesh possible. Shoes with waterproof technologies (such as GORE-TEX) are available from most running shoe companies (adidas, Nike, Salomon, etc…). Picking out a good pair of socks is also important, just in case some water slips in your shoes while you’re out there.
3.Use the Wind to Your Advantage
As you start your run, make sure you run against the wind. While this will be harder, it will also warm you up quicker! Another added benefit is that you won’t be sweating (yet) and so you will avoid getting a cold chill from a cold breeze blowing against your sweaty face or wet clothes! As you progress through your run, challenge yourself by switching back and forth from running against and into the wind.
4.Pay Attention to Warnings
Cold temperatures can aggravate certain health conditions, so it’s best to look for any warnings on TV or your favorite weather forecasting website. Dry air (especially in sub-zero temperatures) can really affect your performance so be sure to hit the treadmill if that’s a possibility for you.
5.Don’t Wear Too Much Clothing
Yes, this sounds counterintuitive. However, your body heats up fairly quickly and if you decided to bring your big puffy coat then you might be regretting it mid-run. Stick to tip number one (above) and warm up thoroughly before heading out. This will help you make a better judgement on how you feel and how cold it really it. Remember… NO BIG PUFFY COATS!
6.Gloves and Ski Mask
Maybe you can skip out on the ski mask, if the temperatures don’t call for it. Gloves, however, can be used by everyone. I don’t know about you but the only body part I can’t seem to warm up when running is my fingers. I had a really hard time keeping them warm – until I bought a good pair of gloves to keep me warm. Avoid cotton!
During cold weather, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool. That means faster average times! Instead of staying at home dreading the weather, take this change to improve your one kilometer personal record and boast about it on social media. Sign up for. 5K and smash your personal best! Take this opportunity to run faster.
8.Hydration is Still Paramount
We all have a hard time when it comes to remembering to drink more water. However, just because you’re not sweating as much as you do in the summer doesn’t mean you don’t have to drink water. Our bodies rely on water for many different biological functions, so make sure you’re doing as much as you can to help your body recover from day-to-day efforts.
9.Wear Reflective Material
Winter days have less daylight hours, so in that sense it is important to remain visible. Wear the whole shebang – the reflective shoes, jacket, wear a light on your head and it’s also suggested that you carry a flashlight with you (or the flash from your phone). This will help you be seen from far away if you’re running in poorly lit areas… Safety first!
10.Post Run Obligations
Facing the elements is tough, but the job isn’t finished when you stop running. Make sure you change out of any clothes that may be wet (women should also change damp bras), put on some warm clothes and drink a hot beverage. If you’re going out for a long run, consider taking a thermo cup to drink hot tea or coffee after your run.
As a winter runner, you can wear your metaphoric ‘winter runner’ medal proudly. It’s easy to run in the summer and spring – not everybody has the willpower to face mother nature during the coldest times of the year! While you warm up, have a look at the latest winter deals from FinishersGear.
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