Running During the Winter Months, Some People Think It’s the Best Time Of Year To Run
Ok, it's now March 1st and while the meteorologists are hyping that for them it's the first day of Spring, we all know that at any time the shoe can drop and we can be looking at another 6inches to a foot of new snow, even with the climate change hype!
One thing we should all be doing, winter, spring, summer or fall is to continue with our exercise routines, especially if we like to run!
A lot of people embraced running, jogging or walking as part of a resolution, back on January 1st. to finally get themselves in better shape. Some hopefully, took the pledge to a better healthier lifestyle a year or two past. Unless you belong to a
gym or visit an enclosed area to walk like a mall, you get yourself going and head out in that cold, crisp air. There are some people that never take their running shoes out of the closet, once the temperatures dip below 35degrees.
Those that are serious about maintaining their running routines embrace the winter months. For them, there is just something special about getting outdoors in the winter months that make them feel great after they run.
A lot of people have set themselves goals to reach for the up-coming year. Maybe a half-marathon or a full marathon or maybe even a Spartan race to see if there up to it. Well to get themselves in shape or get themselves worked up to their physical peak, continuous running, even in the cold can help them achieve their goals. And we all need a goal to focus on, right?
Set a Specific Goal: There is nothing more motivating than to train for a race or specific goal. You can plan to run a 5K, half marathon or reach a number of miles every month. You'll have instant motivation in knowing you have to train for the race or hit your target mileage. Reward yourself when you reach your goals, then set another one.
The Right Winter Apparel: Having the right apparel makes all the difference in the world. Layering is the key to avoiding over- or under-dressing. Consider wearing a layer that blocks the wind; pants, tights, and top that wick the moisture away from your skin; and, for the coldest days, a mid-layer that fits more loosely—like fleece—that insulates and moves the moisture from your base layer away from your skin. We are lucky to have a great line of outdoor gear that can help you to be more visible during the winter months. The Proviz line (https://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/collections/proviz-all) will help keep you warm, dry and visible to oncoming traffic to help keep you safe.
Your winter running wardrobe should include a running jacket, hat or headband, gloves, tights and a few long-sleeve shirts. Your body temperature increases as you run, so you don't need many layers in most winter conditions.
Dress for 15 to 20 Degrees Warmer: Over-dressing is easy to do in winter running. Dressing for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is will allow your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat. You should feel chilled when you walk out the door. If you are toasty warm, remove a layer. Less is more.
Run During Light and Warmer Times of Day: If possible, run during daylight hours so you can absorb that needed sunshine we rarely get in the winter. You'll get your miles in during the warmest time of day and come back with a smile on your face
Stay Low: Shorten your running stride and keep your feet lower to the ground. You will run more efficiently and reduce the risk of slipping, falling or straining muscles. Choose to run on fresh snow rather than ice or packed snow. You will get better traction on fresh snow and reduce the chance of slipping. Watch out for snow-covered cracks and holes in the road.
Take Extra Time To Warm Up: Your body will warm up more slowly in cold weather, especially if you run in the morning. Take at least five minutes to walk briskly before you start to run. It may take 10 to 15 minutes of running before you are completely warmed up and in your running tempo. Take a hot shower to pre-warm your muscles or put your clothes in the dryer on hot for a few minutes then head out for your run.
Hydrate: It is just as important to drink fluids in your winter runs as it is in the summer. Make sure to hydrate before, during and after your runs to avoid dehydration. Use warm fluids in your water bottle or tuck it under your jacket to avoid freezing.
Start into the Wind: Start your run into the wind so you have the wind at your back on your way home. You'll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you've been sweating.
Above all, keep your eyes open and take in all that Mother Nature brings during the winter months. There is something about the way the snow glistens upon the hills that make running in this season something to behold. So gear up, warm up and hit the roads and trails and enjoy, enjoy the beautiful winter running season!