It is possible to maintain your outdoor running routine in the winter, but you must always keep safety top of mind.
Although running outside in the winter can be intimidating due to conditions like ice, snow and cold, you can keep your running mileage up if you have the right gear and follow some practical cold-weather safety tips. Read below for guidance on how to stay warm when battling some of the year’s coldest temperatures.
- Wear Layers
When dressing for the cold, it is important to dress in layers and to remember that you will still feel cold when you first go outside. Once you start running, your body will perceive the outdoor temperature at about 20 degrees warmer than it actually is! This means that if you are warm when you first go outside you are likely overdressed and could end up overheating.
When it comes to layering clothes, keep in mind that your first layer should always be a wicking layer. This fabric will help to keep sweat off your body, while maintaining your core temperature without overheating. On top of this layer you can wear another top, as well as a windbreaker to give you extra protection against the harsh winter winds.
- Cover Your Head, Hands and Feet
In addition to wearing layers on your body, it is important to wear the appropriate attire on your head, hands and feet.
For starters, keep your head warm with a good running hat that is form fitting and keeps your ears protected. It is also a good idea to have running-specific gloves. This type of glove has a wicking fabric on the inside to prevent excessive sweat from accumulating on the hands, which may lead to frostbite.
Lastly, it is important to note that even though you can wear normal running shoes in the winter, you may want to purchase shoe cover accessories to combat snowy sidewalks. A couple of brands worth checking out for these types of accessories include Pearl Izumi and Yaktrax. These shoe covers can help you maintain stability on the slushy ground while still letting you run with your normal stride.
- Know the “Feels Like” Temperature
Before you go out for your winter run, make sure you know all factors. One key thing to keep in mind is the wind chill. While the air temperature may say one thing, the wind could make it feel colder. Don’t push yourself and know your limits! In general, it is a good idea to exercise indoors if the wind chill is zero or below to avoid conditions like hypothermia or frostbite.
- Play it Safe
If the meteorologist is saying to stay inside, it is a good idea to listen. When the temperatures dip, it is best to play it safe and exercise indoors.
By following these winter running tips, you can maintain your running routine all year long. As always, if you experience any aches and pains after exercising, make sure to schedule a complimentary injury screening at your nearest Athletico location.