The most important tip for running in the winter is to have an extensive plan of action and this includes a contingency in case Mother Nature throws you a curve!
The following are the cornerstones of getting the most out of running in the winter: the weather conditions, footwear, running clothing, nutrition (fuel), and hydration.
The weather conditions will dictate many things for your running, such as how cold is too cold? What is the wind speed? Is the terrain deep with snow or iced over?
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Sensitivity to the temperature can vary between people, so one approach does not apply to all. If the meteorologist recommends that you should stay indoors, heed their words and do so! The high speed and direction of the wind in the winter can make your running unpleasant and have a psychological bearing on your performance.
Choosing the proper path, trail, or road is important as it relates to whether or not it is covered with snow or ice. This can make the running fun when it is in the snow, but treacherous if the surface is covered with ice.
Footwear is key!
Your footwear should accommodate your feet if you decide to wear thicker wool socks in the winter. The tread on the outsole should not be worn out and you can look into purchasing Yak Trax to attach to the outsoles for betting stability and traction. The uppers and toe box of each shoe should be made from material that is breathable, so that your feet do not sweat too much.
The running clothing itself should be lightweight and made for the colder weather. You might want to consider layering your clothing, but remember that your body will heat up within so many minutes and the extra layers could cause you to overheat and slow you down. It is important to have lightweight gloves for your hands, headgear to keep your ears and head warm but not obstruct your vision. If you are running during the day and there is a lot of snow on the ground, you might want to consider wearing a good pair of sunglasses made for running to reduce the glare.
Nutrition & Hydration
The prep work for the nutrition comes from making sure you have ingested enough fuel and allowed your body to assimilate the nutrients prior to running. Based on the distance that you are running and your metabolism, you might need to carry some fuel with you such as energy blocks or gels. Store them close to your body to keep them warm, so that if or when needed you can ingest them.
Many people think that because it is cold outside, that they do not need to drink water, but you have to remember that your exertion will lead to an increase in respiration and perspiration even in cold weather! Probably since you would be hydrating on a regular basis, there would not be a need to drink water during your shorter runs, but as you increase the distance, it would serve you best to carry water and drink it!
Here are some tips on safety:
Wear bright reflective clothing whether it is light or dark outside, you want to provide a contrast to the weather.
Run against traffic, they need to see you coming and likewise.
Keep your id with contact information on your person in case you have an accident.
If you listen to music, do not wear both ear buds in your ears. You want to be tuned into the sounds around you.
Check the weather, dress appropriately, wear the shoes that provide the best traction if it is snowing or there is ice.
Pick a route that is familiar if the weather is unfavorable and turn around and head back if you are not feeling well or if the weather gets worse.
Inform friends or family about where you are going and when they can expect you back.
Here are some befits that you can derive:
Continued opportunity to maintain or enhance your running training.
Bolster your body’s immune system by running in the elements.
Build or continue with your social networking.
Maintain or enhance your motivation towards a future goal.
Help stave off the winter blues and clear your mind.
In conclusion, use common sense and follow the information listed above, run with a partner or group to stay motivated, and you can keep Old Man Winter in check!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Jim Cleveland