I absolutely love running in all seasons. There is NO WAY that I will pack away my running shoes with my shorts and flip flops!
If you are also looking forward to a run in the brisk winter months, try some of these tips:
1. Dress right for the weather & your body.
A good rule of thumb is to dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. However, everyone is different. Try wearing layers if you are new to winter running, that way you can unzip or take them off if you get hot. Remember, your goal is not to be warm before you start running, it’s better to start off feeling a little uncomfortably cold, you will likely be just right when you warm up.
2. Keep a journal.
Try keeping a journal of the temp and what you wore and how you felt. (Also the post-it app on a smartphone works for me). This will help you remember what went right and what went wrong when there is another similar day. I always feel underdressed in my light weight jacket and headband on a 30 degree day, but my experience showed that after about 5 mins of running this is just right.
3. It better wick.
When it is cold I want anything that touches my body to be sweat wicking. Cotton is way too cold for me, once it gets sweaty it feels like ice! I love mizuno, under armour, and Nike cold weather running gear. Under Armour has fleece-lined wicking pants and shirts that are amazingly warm, dry, and soft. Some of my other favorite running shirts are the freebie tech-shirts I have gotten from races.
4. Keep your hands warm.
There are some good running gloves on the market from what I have heard, but I have never tried them. My go-to are the $1 one-size-fits all gloves for a cool day and knitted mittens for a colder day. I like knitted gloves because I find they are breathable and don’t get too wet. Mittens hold all your fingers together creating a little hand-sauna for especially cold days. For an especially cold day you can also try “hot hands” hand warmers which are available for purchase at REI or other camping stores.
5. Don’t slip!
Snow and ice can be dangerous. Take a light if you are running in the dark hours to help you look or for hidden ice. If you are running in the snow see if any of your local trails get plowed, I believe W&OD and the trails around George Mason University are plowed by the city so theses are good trails to use. Also, “Yax Trax” are cleats attached to rubbed cradles that you can attach to your running shoes. They will help you not to slip in the snow and ice.
Hydrate before you run, you still need water even though you feel less thirsty. It’s hard to carry water because of might freeze, but try putting electrolytes in your bottle, sugar and sale lower the freezing temperature of water. You can also try a coozie to insulate or wear hydration close to your busy in a backpack or belt. Water fountains that you use in the summer may be turned off in the winter so don’t rely on those.
7. Warm up before you run
Warming up in your house before you go out might make starting your run more bearable. Try some jumping jacks, squats and lunges for about 1-5 minutes to get your legs ready to move.