First off, if you’re brave enough to hit the pavement for a run on a cold day you’re my hero. Secondly, you’ll be happy to know that you will actually burn extra calories! You burn calories as you run but you will also burn more calories in order to stay warm. Being prepared and using common sense are important when running in the cold weather to avoid things like frost bite, hypothermia bad circulation and muscle cramping. Here are a few cold weather running tips to keep you comfortable, safe and on top of your game.
Don’t Skip The Warm Up
- Warm up properly. Begin your run at a comfortable pace and slowly build up. Stick to a pace slightly slower than your normal training pace.
- Do not accelerate or decelerate quickly in the cold weather.
- Drink water on any run over 45 minutes and keep your bottle stored under your jacket to prevent it from freezing.
Dress For Success
- Wear three layers: a base, an insulation and a windproof shell.
- Keep your head covered as a significant amount of our heat loss comes from this area.
- Choose mittens over gloves as they are warmer.
- Wear a single pair of thermal socks to stay warm.
- Take your wet clothes off and get dry ones on as soon as possible after your run.
- Use a chap stick or lip protector on your lips, nose and ears to prevent chapped, or peeling skin.
Run With Caution
- Shorten your stride to improve your footing on icy roads and wear ice grips over the soles of your shoes for greater traction.
- Carry your cellphone and cab fare in your pocket incase of emergency.
- If it’s dark out, wear reflective gear and run facing the traffic in order to be more visible.
- Make sure your changes in direction are gradual to avoid slipping or pulling muscles that are not properly warmed up.
Know The Signs
- Hypothermia is a drop in your core body temperature. Signs of hypothermia include incoherent, slurred speech, clumsy fingers and poor coordination. At the first sign, get to a warm, dry place and seek medical attention.
- Signs of frostbite include the effected area becoming numb or dead to feeling and becoming white with blotchy patches. If you press into the effected area the flesh may not come back into shape immediately instead there may be a depression from where you pressed in.
To bring warmth back to the affected area, use warm water. Soak the area until feeling comes back. If you think you have frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.
Remember, use caution and common sense when running in the cold weather. If temps are too low stick to indoor activities and play it safe!
Stay warm out there 🙂