Don’t let falling temperatures and dwindling daylight discourage you from keeping up with your running routine. Running in cold weather can help shake the winter blues, increase your energy level and ensure you’re in ideal shape when bathing suit season rolls back around. The following are some winter running tips to keep you safe and educated during the harsh Winnipeg winter.
Dress in thin layers
Wear a thin layer of synthetic material which wicks sweat from your body. Stay away from cotton because it holds the moisture and will keep you wet and cold. An outer, breathable layer of nylon or Gore-Tex will help protect against wind, rain and snow while still letting out heat and moisture. If it’s really cold out use a middle layer like a fleece, for added insulation.
Protect your hands and feet
As much as 30% of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet. Wear running gloves and socks that wick moisture away, you can also tuck disposable heat packets into them. Wear thick socks but make sure you have enough room in your running shoes to ensure comfort.
Pay attention to temperature/wind chill
A strong wind can penetrate your clothing and eliminate the insulated warm air around you. Also, the faster you run the more air movement you’re creating and the colder you get.
You’re going to warm up once you get moving so avoid wearing too many layers. If you’re warm and comfortable when you first start, you’re going to start sweating early in your run. You should always dress as if it’s warmer than it really is.
Cover your head
Over 40% of your body heat is lost through your head. Wearing a hat will help keep this heat so your circulatory system will have more heat to distribute to the rest of your body. You can also wear a scarf or face mask over your mouth to warm the air you breathe and protect your face.
Check with your doctor
The cold winter air can trigger chest pain or asthma attacks in some runners. Before running outside, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns with winter running.
Run into the wind
Head out into the wind at the start so when you’re heading home the wind is at your back.
Despite the cold weather, your body still requires fluids to avoid dehydration. Bring a water bottle with you as most public drinking fountains will be turned off.
Don’t stay in wet clothes
If you get wet in cold temperatures, you increase your chances of getting hypothermia. Change immediately after running and seek medical treatment if you suspect hypothermia.
The glare from snow can be harmful to your eyes and even cause snow blindness. Polarized lensed sunglasses are the best way to avoid this problem.
It is best to avoid running in the dark, but if you must, wear reflective gear. In the daytime, wear bright colours to stand out from the snow.
If you are looking to stay active outdoors this winter follow these winter running tips in order to continue your workout routine all year round.
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Cold Weather Running Safety Tips | Running.About.com