You may be wondering how you should run during the winter months. Read on to discover how to make the most of your winter running.
Winter running is a real challenge. Low temperatures can turn your extremities into icicles and stiffen your joints. Therefore, winter running requires special preparation. Proper winter running strategies will prevent injuries and help you perform. Based on science, cold weather running has numerous health benefits. It aids in weight loss, improves metabolism, enhances your cognitive ability, boosts glucose intake, and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. Below are the best tips for making the most out of your winter runs.
Set Attainable Goals
A smart goal gives you a reason to train. Winter races are common and effective goals. A winter race offers an objective and clear goal with a firm date, unlike abstract goals, such as weight management. In addition, you should set weekly goals to help you progress. For example, determine how long it takes to run a mile and work toward beating that!
Warm Up Inside
Warming up with dynamic stretches, such as bodyweight squats, leg swings, and walking lunges, are essential before running in cold weather. Indoor stretches will increase warmth in your body, thus improving your overall running strength. An 8-minute dynamic warm-up that consists of knee hugs, walking deadlifts, lateral leg swings, donkey kicks, and mountain climbers will increase core body temperature. In addition, these exercises will increase your heart rate and range of motion.
Invest in Cold-Weather Running Gear
Winter running is more inviting if you have the ideal gear to keep you warm. When planning your winter running routine, ensure you buy quality running gear. Shop for winter running shoes that provide protection and traction. In addition, wear breathable, functional underwear to absorb the sweat. Most people think the right winter running gear is expensive, but it’s worth it.
- Wear layers. You can never be too warm, and you’ll want to be able to adjust your clothing depending on how cold it gets.
- Wear a hat! This is one of the easiest ways to keep your body heat and prevent frostbite on your ears and noggin. If you’re worried about sacrificing style points, plenty of cute hats out there will keep your head warm without looking like an old lady. Ensure it covers all your hair so no part gets exposed (which could lead to hypothermia).
- Gloves are also essential when winter running–but make sure they’re waterproof! Otherwise, they won’t protect against windchills or rain showers on the road or trailside paths.
- A windproof jacket will help protect against harsh winds during workouts by keeping them from penetrating through its fabric layers; plus, some jackets even come with pockets where runners can store their phones or keys without worrying about them getting wet if there happens to be precipitation during their workout session!
Consider your shoes.
- Consider your shoes. Winter running shoes are designed with a thicker sole, which helps keep your feet warm and dry. They also tend to be waterproof and have better traction than regular running sneakers.
- Wear wool socks. Wool has been shown to help reduce foot swelling and prevent blisters, so it’s an excellent choice for cold-weather runners who want to stay active during winter months when they’re not keen on hitting the gym as much as usual (or at all).
Drink plenty of water to lubricate your joints and regulate your body temperature. Scientifically, staying hydrated during your runs will play a significant role in improving your overall health. Sufficient water intake transports nutrients to improve your energy. The average person should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Therefore, ensure you drink enough water before, during, and after winter running.
Check the weather before you run.
Before you run, check the weather forecast. Suppose it’s going to be colder than you expected; dress appropriately. If it’s warmer than predicted, do what you can to stay calm and hydrated by drinking lots of water before starting your run (or stopping at a convenience store) and keeping yourself covered with layers that can be removed if necessary.
Take a route that’s well-lit and well-traveled.
When running in the winter, choosing a well-lit and-traveled route is essential. If possible, run with a friend or two; this makes your run safer and gives you someone else to talk to (and distracts you from how cold it is). In addition, if you’re running at night and cannot wear reflective clothing on all sides of your body (which would defeat the purpose of wearing black), wear some reflective gear on one side of your body so cars can see you coming their way.
Run against traffic.
One of the best ways to stay safe during your winter runs is by running against traffic. This means that you’ll be able to see what’s coming toward you, and it helps increase awareness of other runners and vehicles on the road.
If you are running with others, ensure everyone is sticking together and following this rule! It will help keep everyone safe and allow for better communication if something happens (like an animal or another runner).
If you’re alone, consider using sidewalks instead of streets when possible; this will give drivers more time to see you coming from afar while still allowing them enough space not to be distracted by passing traffic.
Watch for ice and snow.
During the winter, it’s essential to be aware of your running conditions. It would be best if you were extra careful when it comes to running on ice and snow:
- Don’t run on ice or snow unless you know other people have packed the area before you get there. If there are no footprints around, don’t take a chance–it’s not worth risking an ankle injury!
- Also, avoid running on unpacked surfaces with debris under them, such as rocks and twigs (this could cause an injury).
- Finally, if other runners are nearby when you’re out for your run during this time of year, make sure they aren’t going too fast for their good–they might slip right into YOU!
Before you brave the cold, make sure you’re ready. Warm up, gear up, and drink up! Other tips for making the most out of your winter runs: stay aerobic, time yourself, and run with friends.
We hope this article inspired you to get out and run in the cold. If you’re feeling nervous about it, remember that all of us at Runner’s World are here for you! We know how fun winter running can be, and we want everyone to experience that joy. So don’t hesitate–get out there today!
- “Winter Running: How to Stay Safe and Warm” by Runner’s World (https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/beginners/a773834/winter-running-how-to-stay-safe-and-warm/)
- “Winter Running: Tips and Tricks for Staying Warm and Safe” by Active.com (https://www.active.com/running/articles/winter-running-tips-and-tricks-for-staying-warm-and-safe)
- “Winter Running: How to Stay Safe and Warm” by The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-run-in-cold-weather)
- “Winter Running: How to Stay Safe and Warm” by Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/winter-running/art-20366192)
Alex is a fitness aficionado, empowers others towards healthier, active lives through small, sustainable changes for lasting results. Visit Gearuptofit.com for insightful tips and resources to enrich a balanced lifestyle.