Cold weather and shorter days don’t stand in the way of a die-hard runner. That said, it’s important to be practical and prepared before exercising in frigid temperatures. Here are some smart tips to help keep you safe while running in the winter.
Layers are essential for cold-weather running. Begin with a moisture-wicking fabric, followed by a middle layer of comfortable insulation and an outer shell for blocking the wind. You should also wear comfortable, slip-resistant shoes, especially if you plan to run in snowy or icy conditions.
Shield your extremities
Normally, you would want to wear thick gloves and socks in cold weather. When you are running, however, your body will heat up, causing your hands and feet to sweat under bulky, insulated fabric. Opt for thin, lightweight, breathable gloves and socks to prevent excessive sweating.
During the winter, you may not feel as thirsty as you would during the spring and summer. Nevertheless, you need to make sure you drink plenty of water, so your body will be able to efficiently regulate your internal temperature.
Plan your route
Slick and icy conditions are an inescapable part of winter running. With that said, you can reduce the amount of hazards on your path by planning a running route that will take you through places that come into direct contact with sunlight. Avoid areas that are always in the shadows, since these tend to maintain ice and snow for weeks on end.
Even the best precautions can’t completely eliminate your risk of an accident while running. Make sure to tell someone where you are going, especially if you plan to run in remote areas. If possible, bring your cellphone along, so you can contact someone in the event of an emergency.
While dedication is a big part of running, it’s important to know when to stay indoors. Even the best athletes shouldn’t brave wind-chills of 13 degrees and below. Instead of risking an accident or hypothermia, visit the gym, run stairs or use a jump rope indoors.