For many runners, winter isn’t cool. It’s COLD! The bitterly cold temperatures are fast approaching so you’ll definitely want to step it up with the winter running prep. Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose, but that still doesn’t mean you have to hang your shoes up for the season! We know that it can take a year’s worth of training to earn that PR, so we will be right here by your side with some helpful advice for preparing your body for this winter’s cold snap.
Stretching is incredibly important for runners at all ability levels. If you haven’t been stretching, you should definitely start now. It’s important for any workout in any weather condition. For cold winter temperatures, runners will need to do longer pre-run stretching drills. Even if you might find that stretching can be tedious and boring, you’ll be minimizing the chance of injuries by loosening tight muscles, increasing oxygen and blood flow to your muscles. Here are some great stretching examples for you to try. So go ahead! Loosen up and stretch!
You’ll definitely need to upgrade that running wardrobe if you mostly have summer apparel. One of the easiest ways to feel miserable and increase the likelihood of injury is to allow your body to get wet from sweat… and stay wet during and after your runs. This a great excuse to update your holiday wish lists! What you’ll need during the winter months are sweat-resistant base layers, and socks that wick moisture away from the body.
When dressing up for a run this winter, you can forget about that big, heavy jacket. Instead, try covering yourself up in different layers of high performance running fabrics. The key here is to start with the sweat resistant layers that we spoke about previously, and then layer out to create a warm and breathable clothing system that will keep you comfy and light. Some great layering options are on our Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series online store. Hats, beanies, gloves, and scarfs count as layers too, so don’t forget those for extra warmth!
Although we covered an array of apparel options you can use to stay dry and comfortable on your runs, it doesn’t mean you should be dressing up for a polar expedition! Remember that when you start running, your body will naturally warm itself. It might get difficult for you to shed layers during a run, so avoid over-layering or over-dressing! It can take a couple runs to gauge how many layers you’ll need to cover yourself up in, but a good tip is to tune into the weather forecast. Try dressing as if the weather were 20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is – and your body will soon acclimate to the colder weather.
It’s no secret that you definitely need to be drinking lots of water all year-round. But the reality is that a lot of runners feel that hydration isn’t as important during the winter months. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth! When running, the body still loses plenty of fluids through sweat. Cold air has a drying effect that increases the risk of dehydration. Another tip is that many public drinking fountains are also turned off during the winter to avoid frozen, cracked pipes. Do yourself a favor by being prepared by bringing your own fluids during winter runs.
Know When to Stop
Sometimes it can take some experience to know when to call it quits on a run. There will be a time when you will have to cross that road, so we want you to be prepared for when that time comes. If the weather is really bad, just don’t go out! Extremely cold weather can really make a mess of the time you’ve put in to training and can lead to serious medical conditions. Do yourself a favor and skip days when the weather is absolutely awful. Instead, try focusing on indoor exercises like stretching, yoga, or even weight training!
Follow these key points and you’ll not only have a fresh new look, you will also be safer and comfortable too. Good luck on your winter running prep!