As much as most people dread the winter weather, here in Maryland there’s not much we can do to stop it! If you loathe the treadmill and opt to stay outside, we’ve got some cold-weather running tips for you.
Be Smart About Layering Up. When the temperatures drop, you’ll want to add layers to your running apparel. The general rule for outdoor running is to dress for temperatures 15-20 degrees above the actual temperature. Though you’ll be a little cool when you start your run…you’ll warm up in no time once you get going! Layering gives you the option to shed a few items if you get too warm, and it provides you with layers to add if you start get chilly during your cool down.
Cover Your Extremities. Your hand, feet, ears and nose are the first to freeze in cold weather, so protect yourself! Wearing a hat or hood prevents heat from escaping your body and keeps you warmer. Not a hat person? Try a headband or ear warmer instead. Make sure your socks are of good quality to keep your feet warm and dry, and don’t forget gloves or mittens!
Dealing with the Elements: Dealing with snow, ice and wind is unpleasant enough, but when you’re trying to get a workout in, it’s especially inconvenient. If you’re running in windy weather, start out running into the wind. This will keep the wind from blowing into your face once you’ve started sweating and chilling you more. You can prevent slipping on ice by shortening your stride and paying close attention to your running path. You can also add screws to your running shoes for extra traction. Be sure to get hex head or sheet metal screws. Use a drill to insert them in your shoes, pointy end first until the head is flush with your shoe (see image, left. Via Runner’s Connect).
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! When the temperature is lower, you may not feel like you’re working as hard, but it’s so important to keep hydrated. Aim for 8oz of water for each 30 minutes of exercise.
The bonus of running outdoors in colder temperatures? It feels easier and you’ll naturally increase your pace! Bring on the PR’s!!