Cool runnings3 Nov

Cool runnings

How to get set for a cold weather run

A drop in temperature shouldn’t stop you running outdoors this winter. But fail to prepare at your peril! It’s all too easy to pull a muscle or get hit by cramps when there’s a nip in the air. Here are eight cold weather tips to keep you up and running during winter.

1. Wrap up warm

Wear sweat resistant clothing and layer undergarments to keep your body warm and dry in low temperatures. An incredible half of your body’s heat is lost through your head, so don’t leave home without a hat. A scarf or neck warmer will warm the air as you inhale, making it easier to run and breathe.

2. Stretch beforehand

Stretching increases the oxygen and blood flow to the muscle. Before you head out, perform a short, dynamic warm-up that doesn’t make you sweat. When you hit the air outside, it won’t feel as cold. And your muscles will thank you for it!

3. Wear something bright

Chances are, you’ll be running in low daylight or even the dark during the winter months. So make sure you wear reflective, fluorescent gear. A headlamp or flashlight is never a bad idea. You’re not only easier to spot. It’s easier for you to see where you’re going!

4. Look after your feet

To keep the warmth in and the horrible slush out, choose a pair of running shoes with the least amount of mesh. Wearing ice grips over the soles of your shoes and shortening your stride will also help improve your footing, creating greater traction when conditions get icy. A single pair of thermal socks will help wick away wetness and keep your feet warm.

5. Drink plenty of fluids

You can easily become dehydrated with winter exercise due to respiratory fluid loss with cold weather breathing. Wearing your water bottle under your jacket will help keep it from freezing while out on your run.

6. Watch your speed

Winter running is more about maintaining distances than working on speed. If speed work is a must, then keep it to indoor dry surfaces during winter. It’s not worth the risk.

7. Quick-change

The minute you stop exercising, your core body temperature will begin to drop. To avoid getting the chills, change from your running gear as soon as you can. A nice hot drink such as green tea will help your body warm up quickly once you’re back indoors.

8. Don’t be a hero

If it’s too cold, stay inside or find an indoor alternative to your usual outdoor run.

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