As temperatures start to drop it is important to learn how to run in the snow and cold properly so that you will prevent injury and keep your body temperature stable.
As I look at the upcoming forecasts, it’s enough to make a grown woman cry. This Arizona girl is not a fan of the cold and snow and it is a coming quickly to the great state of Utah. Did I mention that I’m a complete wuss when it comes to running outside? Well, I am! On that very same note, I really detest running on a treadmill…
Picking the least of the two evils and having to knock out some serious miles on my journey to train for a marathon, I decided I needed to give running outside a chance. So I did a little research to help make the most out of (in my opinion) an unpleasant scenario.
As a result of my intensive research and my need to stay warm, I’m sharing with you lovely readers some of the tips and tricks I came up with. All tested and approved to keep us toasty and comfortable when running in the snow and cold, icky weather! (Well as comfortable as you can be anyway.)
First off, its all about wearing layers! You want to start with a loose fitting, long sleeve, wicking base layer. Think Dri Fit, Thinsulate, Thermax or other such brands. This will allow you to wick your sweat away and keep you dry and warm. DO NOT wear a cotton base layer as this will leave you wet and cold and that is NEVER a good combo.
Second, you’ll need a wind or waterproof layer. You’ll want one that will allow both heat and moisture to escape to prevent overheating or chilling. One with a zipper is optimal to allow you to adjust for the proper exposure and allow you to self-regulate temperatures as needed.
You’ll also want to wear close-fitting long running pants or leggings. Your legs generate the most heat so you don’t need as many layers. Just stick with a synthetic material.
Wear a HAT! As they say, you lose a ton of heat from that region! Wearing a warm hat or headband that protects your ears will help keep you warm! A fleece or wool hat is best! If you start to overheat you can easily take your hat off and tuck in the back of your pants.
You also want to wear gloves and nice, NON-cotton socks. They have great wool socks nowadays made from merino wool that are amazing! They keep your footsies warm and toasty and actually prevent foot odor for a win and a win!
Some other things to consider when you are learning how to run in the snow and cold:
- Wear protective lip balm – the cold and the wind can chap those soft lips of yours.
- DRINK your water! Do NOT forget just because your cold… your body still needs it!
- Give your body time to warm up and adjust. Walk briskly for a bit as your body adjusts to the cooler temps.
- Warm your body up with dynamic stretching and avoid static stretches.
- Stay low. Shorten your stride and your feet lower to the ground. This will help you better navigate the sometimes treacherous terrain.
- This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Avoid running on packed snow and ice. This will help keep you running instead of ending up with a good ole’ injury.
- Think warm thoughts – imagine running on a beach or in a park in the summer. Never underestimate the power of your mind to help you power through.
There it is folks! After a couple runs in my new winter gear I’m an old pro and less of a wuss. Of course, I still have my limits! It’s no dice if it’s under 20 degrees.