Game planning for running in cold weather

Living in Western New York where the temperature can

easily reach subzero during our early months of the year. For those of us who are continuously trying to stay active all year long, you are faced with two options, (1) properly prepare for the cold weather (2) go find a treadmill and use that until the season changes to warmer weather. Since I have recently fell in love with running, I have chosen outdoor running and strongly encourage you to do the same. Like most outdoor runners, I despise the treadmill and once you've had fresh air and beautiful scenery, it's hard to knock out a long run on a conveyor belt. So, in saying that let’s properly game plan, so we can make your outdoor run a successful one.

 

#1. Warm up before starting:

These are a few exercises that I tend to use before heading out for a long run, especially in cold to extreme cold weather. Examples include:

• Running in place (1-2 mins)

• Jumping jacks (1mins)

• Jumping in place: (1 min)

• Gentle lunges (1 min)

• Leg kicks (1-2mins)




#2 Base layer:

*Don’t wear cotton as it absorbs moisture and holds it against your body. Wear sweat wicking based gear which is commonly known as your 1st layer of defense against the cold elements. Myself, I am looking for brand names that specialize in winter running gear. These shirts mostly come in several styles and different categories. My personal preference is purchasing a compression fit: Compression fit gear is great in cold weather because it enhances your natural blood flow, keeping muscles warm and loose. This is the shirt that keeps you from getting cold and wet when you sweat.


#3. Not investing in the right gloves

Don’t let the fingers freeze. Winter running gloves are often on the skimpy side. If the light pair just isn’t cutting it, browse in your local outdoor shop’s ski wear section to find a quality pair. I tend to wear ski gloves that are made with waterproof and a nylon shell material. These gloves provide a thermal insulation fit (which is a little tight fitting, but worth it) that will allow sweat and moisture to escape as you complete your outdoor run.


#4. Staying Hydrated

I have found that you might not sweat as much when it’s 10 degrees outside, but hydration is still important. Drink liquids before and after your run. First, avoid ice water or other cold liquids. Room temp or warm liquids are a better choice for keeping an optimal body temperature. You should drink about 20 ounces of water or your favorite sports drink about 30 minutes prior to your run.


Leave a Hashtag with your own favorite winter running tip #staycoolkeepwarm


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