With Autumn upon us, it’s a sure thing that Winter is not far behind.
But, if you love running like I do you try not to let anything stand between you and your regular constitutional.
I know avid runners who run in every condition imaginable: rain, sleet, snow, fog, the dead heat of summer … even the freezing cold of winter …
… it really doesn’t matter what’s going on outdoors, we MUST get our run in.
Does this sound like you?
If so, there are some precautions you should be taking before you embark on your run if you live in a part of the world that is prone to VERY cold winters. Otherwise you could be doing yourself a huge disservice hitting the trail unprepared.
The most important thing to cover is yourself!!
Make sure you have proper weather specific running clothes on. Be sure to use technical gear that will wick the sweat away from your skin so that when you stop running your sweat doesn’t get cold and start freezing to your skin.
Be sure to dress in many layers.
Chances are once you start moving you will feel warmer, and maybe even make you feel too hot with the amount of clothing on that is required to keep you warm when you’re not in motion.
So make sure you have layers you can strip off, as well as making sure these garments are something you can tie to yourself in some way so you aren’t stuck carrying them in your hands once they’re off.
Then you’ll have your clothing with you when you stop running and need to start layering your clothing back on for warmth.
Always cover your head for warmth. More heat is lost through your scalp than you might realize.
And, you may not feel it until it’s too late, but your ears are very susceptible to frostbite so make sure you keep those covered in extreme climates.
If you wear gloves but you find that your fingers still get a bit numb by the end of your run, then either wear mittens (keeping all your fingers together will help them keep each other warm) or slip some hotshot warmers into your gloves to help keep your fingers safe from frostbite.
While you are running in the frigid air, it’s a good idea to breathe in through your nose to warm the air before it hits your lungs. Feel free to breathe out through your mouth if you are working hard but breathing IN through your mouth may cause pain if the air is super-frigid.
You can also wear a covering over your mouth and nose to help warm the air (and protect your face from the climate) but be aware that once you start breathing through the covering, it will likely become pretty wet pretty fast from the condensation in your breath.
So, if you don’t want a cold soggy piece of material stuck to your face it might be better to forego that particular piece of protection (or at least take it off immediately once you’ve finished your run). It’s up to you and your personal preference and just how cold it really is outside.
Always be sure to wear footwear appropriate to your terrain.
Is the ground frozen? Or snowy? Or both? Get yourself a good pair of snow-running shoes with proper grips, to prevent slips and slides and potential injury.
Take safety up one more notch and invest in some ‘tie on’ grips for your shoes that are specially designed to grip into the snow and ice.
Most importantly of all is to make sure you bring a mode of communication with you, just in case you do slip and sustain an injury.
No sense lying out there in the cold freezing to death when a simple small cel phone could have saved your life, right?
Make room for one in one of your pockets. You might wind up very glad you did.
Have a great, fun, safe and warm run. See you out there!
By the way … if you’re a runner of ANY description, you need a Timer.
Time your Endurance Runs. Time your Sprints. Time your Intervals. Heck, time your Powerwalks.
If you don’t time your session, how will you know if you’re making progress? How will you know if you’re getting stronger? … faster? … better?
Make sure you know where your progress is at. Get a GymBoss Interval Timer.
The strong VIBE function is what sold ME! Never bother having to look at the darned timer in the middle of your workout again.
Feel the buzz? Time’s up! Simple as that. So much better for a hard workout than monitoring a watch visually all the time.