Winter is here. Just because it is cold and snowy out does not mean you need to stop running outdoors. There are many ways to keep your training in focus during these colder months. Here are some of our best winter running tips:
Run with a friend or group
The number of people running outside during the winter months drops significantly. Running with others is a great way to beat the winter running blues. Your running buddies are built in motivational sources and not only hold you accountable, but they make running safer.
Set Goals and Rewards
Winter running season in the colder states like Colorado can leave a runner unmotivated. Set a goal to train for a specific race in a warmer state like Arizona or California or Mexico! These goals and rewards will be the instant motivation you need to hit your target mileage.
Wear the Right Gear
For winter running, layering is key. Wear layers that block the wind and whisk away moisture. One great piece of advice is to dress for 15 to 20 degrees warmer. This will allow for your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and sweating. A small chill when you walk out the door is a good thing. You will warm up soon enough.
Wearing trail shoes and traction devices can give you better stability in the snow. Falling on the ice and snow can lead to serious injury.
Run When It’s Light and Warmer Out
Not only is it safer, but running during daylight hours will also help with your Vitamin D absorption which is greatly needed during the winter months. The warm sunshine on your face will not only make you happier, but it will keep you warmer!
Take Your Time
Your body will warm up slower in the cold weather, so plan for an extra 10 to 15 minutes before your body is completely warmed up. Walking briskly before you starting to run or put your clothes in the dryer on hot for a few minutes to help heat up your muscles before heading outside. Shortening your stride will also help you reduce the risk of slipping, falling or straining muscles due to ice and snow. Fresh snow is better for running than ice or packed snow.
We will leave you with one thing you might not want to hear, but for safety’s sake make the treadmill your friend when the weather gets bad. When the trails and roads become dangerous, hit the treadmill. Treadmill running is a great way to get in those miles without risking injury from slipping.