As the winter months are in full swing, icy winds and blistering mornings lurk around, causing many activities to come to a halt due to the undesirable temperature - but that doesn’t have to be the case when it comes to running! To help you be your best active self this winter, let’s dive into the top 8 best practices for running in cold winter weather.
Warm-up before the run
Did you know that cold weather results in less blood supply to the extremities? It’s true! This means a ten to fifteen-minute warm-up is needed before you set off on your miles. Drills like jumping jacks, squats, and planks will swiftly get your body ready for a long winter run.
Dress as if it’s 10 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is
When you think of winter running, the first thing that probably comes to mind is thick winter coats, fleece pants, cute gloves, and cozy hats. Although you will want to choose warmer clothing for a winter run, you’ll want to dress as if it’s 10 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. You may be slightly cool at the start, but ultimately this will prevent you from getting a chill as your body starts to sweat.
Wear the right shoes
If it is an ordinary winter day, your runners should still be the best option when it comes to winter running footwear, but if you live in an area that regularly has snow, it’s recommended you wear shoes with extra grip to prevent yourself from slipping on a snowy trail.
After a winter run, many of us don’t come home drenched in sweat as we do in the summer months, yet running in the cold still leads to fluid loss in several other ways. That’s why even if you don’t feel incredibly thirsty or have sweat dripping down your back, you’ll still need to hydrate like you would in the summer. Aside from drinking a healthy amount of water, it’s also recommended to eat water-dense foods like fruits and vegetables throughout the day to support hydration levels.
Changing out of wet clothes quickly after a run
Did you know that those who don't change out of their damp clothing quickly after a run are much more prone to developing infections from bacteria? This bacteria build-up often leads to unfavorable skin irritations and chafing, knocking you out of your running routine for a few days. So, no matter if you jet off on a 5k or crush a half marathon this winter when you get home, we recommend changing into your most cozy winter outfit as soon as possible!
Keeping a healthy diet
In winter months, many of us want to stock up on hearty soups, holiday cookies, and hot chocolate galore, but if you’re keeping up with an active winter running routine, you’ll want to incorporate foods that support your training, too. Alongside your favorite cold-weather treats, we recommended cooking feel-good meals made with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only will your food be exceptionally fresh, but you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite holiday must-haves while nourishing your body for the running season.
Stop if you feel unfamiliar discomfort.
Just as if you were to feel too hot or desperately dehydrated on a sunny summer run, you’ll want to take the same precautions in the winter as you would in the summer. No matter if you’re feeling new discomforts from running on fresh snow, or tight lungs from the cold temps, in the winter, it’s just as important to stop, slow down, or take a rest day if you’re feeling any sort of unfamiliar discomfort. Although not much feels better than getting extra miles under your belt, your body will also thank you for taking good care of it and resting when needed, especially in winter conditions.
Keep your goals simple
Finally, it’s important to remember to keep your goals in perspective while running in cold weather. While we want to constantly be improving, oftentimes, winter training should be used more for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting exercise, and enjoying the season. At the end of the day, we encourage you to just be realistic with your goals, as any run is still a good run, especially during chilly and slick winter months.
If the winter weather leaves you ready to curl up with a cozy cup of tea, a good movie, and fleece pajamas, getting up for a rejuvenating run can be made easier when you have the right gear. At SPIbelt, we’re here to help you be your best active selves, no matter the outside conditions. Head over to our collections page and pick a SPIbelt that will be your new winter running companion.