We're halfway there....just gotta get over the hump!!
Today is Workout Wednesday!! I thought that I would change things up a little bit. With the days getting shorter and the temps getting cooler (colder!) I thought that I would share some of my favorite cold weather running tips. Also, November is National Running Safety Month.
Personally, I find cold weather running more challenging than running in the heat. I don't like the cold AT ALL!! I am always cold and have a difficult time getting warmed up. I'm usually bundled up in multiple layers and often have a space heater on in addition to the central heater and fireplace. All I want to do is bundle up under a blanket in my comfy chair. The last thing I really want to do is get out in the cold and run or workout. I find staying motivated to run or workout difficult.
But, if it's important, then you will find a way.....at least that's what I tell myself to get my butt out the door and get it done!! Here's what I do to make my winter/cold weather running bearable:
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. Staying dry is the key. I've run in rain, sleet and snow. It wasn't really pleasant but I got it done. I wore a trash bag to help keep me dry on a run before (didn't really work....it was actually a pretty miserable run). Change into dry clothes as quickly as possible after your run.
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. If I can keep my ears and hands warm, then I usually do ok on my run as my core typically warms up pretty quickly.
So, that's what I've figured out so far about running in the cold. I'm not really looking forward to winter running. It always takes me a little time to get used to it but I know that I will! I've run through some really brutal summers, I know that I can and will survive the cold too!
Please feel free to add any tips that have worked for you in the past.