Although temperatures seem like early spring this week, winter is likely far from over. February can be freezing cold and getting your butt outside for a run can be hard to say the least. But if you want to keep up your routine, running in winter is kind of a necessary evil. That’s why I listed some running tips for plowing through winter season.
With limited daylight, chances are you’ll be running in the dark. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear and, if you’re running in darker areas, don’t be shy to go a little crazy. Use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, so you can see where you’re going and more so people can see you.
Of course it is important to wear the right running shoes and clothing. That’s how you avoid injuries. But in winter, it’s even more important. You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10° C warmer — this means you should be a bit cool when you start. Wear layers so you can adjust your temperature as you heat up. These are the guidelines:
Adjust your running clock
When it’s cold, rainy or windy, you’ll undoubtedly run less quickly than in summer. So forget speedwork and work on your maintenance. Like interval training — it’s effective for your strength, but also works wonders for your speed. There are lots of running apps out there that can help you with that.
Warm up pre-run
Running without a warm-up in winter is not a great idea. Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga exercises. That way, the cold doesn’t feel so cold and your muscles are ready. Don’t forget to cool down afterwards.
Deal with wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. You can also break your run into segments, running into the wind for about ten minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. Don’t forget to protect your exposed skin — always wear sunscreen, also in winter, and prevent chapped lips with a generous amount of lip balm.
Your body temperature drops as soon as you stop running — this not only occurs in winter by the way. Especially when you’re sweaty after a long run, it can drop quickly from having a wet layer against the skin in combination with the cold temperatures. To avoid the chills, change your sweaty clothes as soon as you can. After your cool-down stretches, take a shower and drink something warm.
Do you run in winter or are you more of a seasonal runner?