1. Ease into it!
Even if you're really conditioned and have been running inside or in the warm weather, don't jump right into the cold in the middle of the winter. It's best to start running outside in the fall and ease into it to get your lungs accustomed to the cold weather. It's much harder to breathe (I find) in the cold . When I decided that I wanted to run this winter, I started up again before it got too cold!
2. Dress properly!
This one is a big deal - don't throw on sweat pants and a sweater and head out for a run. Years ago when I first decided I wanted to keep running through the winter months, I headed to a running store to talk to someone about what to wear. Here's what I had on this morning:
- A Nike Dry Fit Pro long sleeve shirt, (and my Nike sports bra)
- A Sugoi running shirt - it's lined with fleece. This layer doesn't have to be anything too intense, this is where you could put on a close-fitted sweater.
- A Sugoi Cycling Jacket - again, this need not be anything intense, but this is my wind-breaker type layer.
- Nike Dry Fit running pants.
- (Not pictured) Lulu cropped pants - I don't always wear these, but it's about -15 here right now, so the extra layer is necessary!
- High socks - I need some like Taylor
- Sometimes I'll wear a scarf too
- My Polar watch, because I can't function without it.
The important thing to note here is that most of what is touching my skin is dry fit!
3. Wear bright colours!
This is especially important if you run in the morning (like me). Note my bright yellow running jacket - my mom bought this for me after getting sick of all my "I almost got hit by a car again today" stories.
4. Run on the proper side of the road.
Remember, run against traffic, cycle with traffic. I always stick to this when I run on the road, and in the winter I try to be diligent with it when I'm on sidewalks too. Never trust cars.
5. Don't listen to music!!
I can't stress this one enough. It scares me when people run in the morning or at night with ear buds in. I used to do it but I stopped because I couldn't listen to music during my tris, and it's just not safe! It's SO important to be aware of your surroundings.
6. Don't be a hero and be careful!
I've never believed that winter running is for setting PRs. It's slippery, it's hard on your body and it's cold!! I keep my runs short, and I run to keep myself safe. I walk when the ground is too uneven and covered in ice, and I go back inside if it's too cold. Be smart about it - if you walk outside and it's -25 and the world is a sheet of black ice, it's not worth it!
7. Enjoy it!
Winter running is beautiful - what's prettier than snow?
Do you run in the winter?