Outdoor winter running can be a challenging and sometimes a difficult experience. Treadmills get boring quickly and the fresh air and winter scenery is well worth the effort. Braving the cold weather requires preparation and a little common sense. Below are some tips to help you have a warm and rewarding running experience during the cold winter months.
Running in Cold Weather
Cold air has a drying affect which can increase your risk of dehydration, so drink plenty of fluids before and after your run. Dress in lightweight clothing that will keep you warm and wick away moisture. Try working out with some friends to give you extra motivation to get out there when you would rather read a book by the fire.
Running in Snow
Trail running is snow is a unique, enjoyable experience with the cool air, quietness, crunch of the snow and scenery that appears to be frozen in time. Stay focused on the trail surface five to ten feet in front of you as conditions may be icy or slick. You will likely need to run at a slightly slower pace than normal to keep your footing. The biggest concern is slipping on ice and getting injured during your run. Having a pair of ice cleats for boots or shoes will provide you with the necessary traction and confidence to run in any conditions.
Cold Weather Running Gear
As with any cold weather activity, dressing in layers is key to staying warm. Keep in mind that you will be exercising so you should dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. This approach allows your body to heat up during your run without overheating and possibly dehydrating. As a reminder, avoid cotton during your run since it retains moisture and will keep you wet causing chills and discomfort. Make sure to have each of these essential running gear items before hitting the trail:
With these helpful tips for winter running, you can get outside, get exercise and feel great!
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