5 Winter Run Tips Tips
Training outside during the winter can be tough (even for die-hard runners!), but there are simple ways to make it easier. Keep a few of these quick tricks in mind and you’ll keep cruising all winter long.
Get the right gear
Winter isn’t the time to throw on your old college sweatshirt and a pair of track pants. Choosing cotton t-shirts or hoodies that trap moisture next to your skin is just asking for a chill. Layer up with technical fabrics that wick sweat away from your body and provide vents. That way, you can keep your core temperature consistent, so you don’t end up drenched in sweat (or freezing cold). We recommend a moisture-wicking base layer, a warm middle layer, and a light waterproof shell – that way, if you get too warm, it’s easy to take one off and wrap it around your waist.
Choose your carrot
Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door. Find something you really look forward to – a special post-workout treat, a small gift to yourself, a hot bath – and promise yourself you’ll have it... But only after your run. Incentivize yourself to get out there, even if it’s only for five minutes. Chances are, once you’re outside enjoying the brisk air, you might surprise yourself.
Stay healthy before, during, and after
Winter isn’t the time to set PRs or test out speed drills. Your heart beats faster in the cold, which intensifies even an easy run. Since your body is already under the stress of the elements, be kind to it.
Our recommendation? Warm up for 10-15 minutes inside before you brave the cold. Stretch, get your heart rate up a little bit, and loosen up your joints. Head out for a consistent aerobic pace: think 130-150bpm (as a general guideline – you know yourself best!).
Try to plan your run to finish up at or close to home. You’ll want to change out of any wet clothes as soon as possible to minimize your chances of catching a chill. Get into a hot shower to bring your core temperature up, and into dry clothes, as soon as you’re done. After all, you won’t be running at all if you get sick!
Don’t expose yourself
This sounds obvious, but there are little ways you can help minimize your exposure to cold and wind. Wear gloves and a hat or headband. Try to choose long sleeves that hook onto your thumbs or tucks into your gloves. Wear long socks that cover the bottom of your pants, and choose a bandana or neck sleeve.
If your environment is windy, use Bodyglide or Vaseline on your exposed cheeks and nose to help protect against harsh winds. Chapstick is also a good idea – cold air can result in sore, chapped lips.
Light up like a Christmas tree
Safety first, always! With shortened daylight hours, it’s likely that you’ll be running in the dusk or dark. Use a headlamp and get reflective gear (or pick up reflective tape and stick it on everything you own). Be aware of your surroundings, too. That means no headphones! Check the roads and make sure cars see you, even if you have the right of way.
It’s never a bad idea to carry your phone and a credit card or cash, either, just in case the weather turns, and you need to get home.
Those are our top 5 tips to help you keep running all winter long. Let us know your favorite ways to get outside this winter in the comments below!