Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter running tips

Today I thought I would talk about one of my least favorite things: winter!!  I've been in denial about it, but the temperatures are getting increasingly colder.  So, I've been thinking about how I will deal with it and here are some of the tips that I've come up with.

1.  Make sure you are visible.  Winter means that it gets dark earlier.  Many of us have to run early in the morning or in the evening after work.  Try to wear light colored clothing, safety yellow or neon green shows up really well. A neon safety vest is also a good option.  Most running clothing has reflective patches on it or you can purchase reflective tape to add to your shoes, clothing, etc.  And carry a light with you.  This makes you more visible to traffic and helps you see where you're going to help prevent injuries.  A headlamp with either a strap or that clips on the bill of a hat works well.  There are many good options available from your local or online sporting goods store. 

2.  Pay close attention to weather forecasts/conditions.  Dress like it is 20 degrees warmer and dress in multiple layers.  Avoid cotton fabric because it retains moisture and keeps you wet which will ultimately make you feel colder.  Nylon helps to keep you dry.  It wicks away moisture and extra heat which helps prevent overheating and chilling. 

3.  Cover your hands and feet to prevent frost bite.  Wear gloves or mittens and warm socks.  Cover your head.  40% of body temp is lost through the head; wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss.  Also, consider covering your face with a mask or scarf if it is really cold.

4.  Most importantly: be safe and have FUN!! 

So, that's what I've figured out so far about running in the cold.  Please feel free to add any tips that have worked for you in the past.  I'm not really looking forward to winter running.  I know it will take some getting used to.  But I started running in the hottest summer on record ever in Oklahoma and handled it, so I'm sure I will eventually get used to it!!

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