Just because the snow has started to fall does not mean your outdoor runs have to stop! Yes, transitioning to the gym to rack up the miles is definitely an option, but if you want to stay outdoors, here are some tips to help keep you safe.
First of all, the clothing you wear is important, for very obvious reasons. It's cold outside so you need something that will protect you from the elements. Layers are good. Very good. You might want to consider a base layer that has moisture wicking properties to keep you comfortable. Something like the black Under Armour compression shirt below is a great option. The next layer on top of that is there mostly for insulation. The final layer will block the wind from chilling you to the bone. The red Columbia jacket features a thermal reflective lining to ensure warmth. It’s also important to provide warmth to your head and hands since that’s where most of your body heat escapes from. Thick socks are great for keeping your feet warm as well. Covering your mouth will help to protect your lungs and respiratory system in the cold.
While mesh shoes are great, you’ll probably want to stay away from them when you’re running outdoors. Mesh shoes give ventilation to your feet, you don’t want the chill of winter coming in to your shoes. Grab some mostly leather running shoes for winter and stick to mesh in the spring and summer. The women’s New Balance or men’s Puma are great options.
Before you hit the road running, make sure you give your body a good warm up. Going into the cold with cold muscles is how injuries happen. Warm up and loosen up indoors while focusing on dynamic stretches. While you’re running make sure to stay hydrated, like with any workout. You might feel cold but you’re still sweating. Stick to a route you know well and that is well lit. The more lights, the easier it is for you to be seen on dark mornings and for you to see the ice below the feet.
Snow, cold air, early mornings; they’re all reasons to be unmotivated and say “maybe tomorrow” to your run. Find a reason to run. Whether it’s training for your first spring run or working off the Thanksgiving pie and holiday desserts.
Happy trails to you!
**Some of the tips and ideas mentioned above are adapted from this blog post by Men's Fitness