For those who enjoy running, the winter months can be difficult to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Cold weather and frigid temperatures along with shorter days should not impede anyone from enjoying their run. The best way to make sure you can run outdoors in the winter is to prepare well. In this article, we will be looking at seven great tips that all outdoor winter runners should use to navigate those cold days.
1. Outdoor Winter Running Begins With Layers
It is essential that if your running outside in the winter that you cover in layers that you can shed. Make sure that you have a moisture-wicking base near your skin, then for insulation a mild layer, and finally an outer shell that will block the wind. The objective is to have clothing that will keep in body heat and won’t sacrifice mobility when running.
2. Protect Your Head and Hands for Outdoor Winter Running
Most runners will tell you that most of your body heat is lost through your head and your hands. It is essential that you wear a hat and gloves when running in the outdoors during the winter months. The best hats and gloves are the ones you can collapse and shove into a pocket or waistband if you get too hot while running.
3. Know Your Route When Outdoor Winter Running
The wintertime brings with it slick and icy conditions along with less light and therefore less time to run. Make your running route short and well lit. Wear lots of reflective gear and run against the traffic.
4. Warm Up Before Your Outdoor Winter Running
It is important that you spend a little more time warming up before an outdoor winter run. Do your warm up inside and get your body and joints loosened up. Try dynamic stretches such as leg swings and walking toe touches to warm up your muscles quickly.
5. The Importance of Lungs in Outdoor Winter Running
Your respiratory system will work much harder in the cold, dry conditions of the outdoors in winter. This is because the air you breathe in must be warmed. The easier way to do this while running in the winter outdoors is to cover your mouth with a ski mask to hold in your body’s warmth and humidity.
6. Hydration is Important in Outdoor Winter Running
In the cold winter months, the weather is much drier and runners are usually not aware of the amount of sweating they produce. Cold air makes runners less thirsty even as they sweat just as much in warmer climates. Outdoor winter runners need to be aware of replacing fluids as much as in warmer weather.
7. Motivation is Important in Outdoor Winter Running
Find yourself a goal and stick with it. Shoot for an important race in the springtime and use that motivation while running in the cold winter months. Having a goal will make those unbearable winter runs tolerable.