Winter running is tough. For a lot of people, that means snow, below freezing temperatures, ice, wind and the potential for missed training days. Even when we do our best, combating the challenges of winter running is a challenge. Our bodies start to behave differently when temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit whether we like it or not. That means we have to adapt some aspects of our training to continue safely. Here are Team ECRP‘s favorite ways to stay warm, and running, all season long.
Layer Up. Wear sweat wicking layers close to your body and heavier layers on top of them. A wind and rain or snow blocking outermost layer is ideal. It’s always easier to remove something than put more on. Stocking are great under running tights and wool socks are always cozy. You never know what the race day weather will do making winter a great time to try new gear.
Grab add-ons. Winter running requires a few more accessories than the summer does. We humans lose 85% of our body heat through out head and hands so in addition to your usual fuel and hydration, you’ll need gloves or mittens, a hat or ear warmer and maybe some Yak Trax to help you handle the road conditions.
Warm up. The colder you are the harder it is to perform well. Instead of heading outside to warm up like you normally do, get going indoors. Stretch and mobilize before opening the door. Have space for drills? Keep those inside, too. Try jogging in place, jumping jacks or burpees along with some intense breathing exercises to get your blood pumping, heart rate up and mind ready to tackle a chilly outing.
Dry off. Get somewhere warm and put on dry clothes as quickly as you can post workout. Not only will this help your body start recovering faster, you’ll be less likely to catch a cold or be miserable.
Break it up. If the weather is nasty and it’s dark out or you’re too busy to get all those miles in at once, split them up. Do one run in the morning and one in the evening. Aim to have at least 4 hours between those sessions for adequate recovery.
Get friendly with the treadmill. Ah, the dreadmill. It’s an unfortunate necessity of winter running. Luckily when you make friends with one you realize they aren’t so bad after all. A treadmill can be just as effective as an outdoor workout and is, especially in poor conditions, much safer.