Brrrrr, training in the winter months can be exciting but can also be harmful if you don’t take the necessary precautions. My first race of 2018 is fast approaching, as I will be taking on the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K in Charlotte, NC, followed by Rock and Roll Raleigh. I , for one, love the winter training because it gives you the opportunity to test out a good amount of gadgets.
I am going to walk you through some of the things you need to consider before heading out the door for a run during the winter months.
Know the temperature/Know your body
Please do more than just look out the window before heading out on a run. There are so many things you can use these days to find out the weather; watch the news, check your phone and even some gps watches give you the temperatures outside at your location. Nothing worse than stepping outside thinking it is warmer than it actually is and your body going into temporary shock when that cold air hits you the first time.
What I mean by know your body is, only you know how your body will before in cold weather and what you need to assist. Personally, I can still wear shorts on my runs, up until the temperature hits freezing (32 degrees). I will usually rock shorts, with some type of thermal long sleeve top. Once that temp deeps below freezing, then I bring out the compression pants, gloves and infrared hood.
Invest in an Infrared Hood
You definitely need to invest in something that will keep your head warm during these cold runs. I purchased an Under Armour Infrared Hood about 2 years ago and there is nothing like in during my long runs. It covers everything from your head to your neck, minus the eyes. 95% of the time after my runs, I am still sweating underneath it. Another big plus is its versatility; since it’s not attached to a jacket, you can wear it with anything. BUFF also makes some fantastic hats and balaclava that are stylish as much as they are warm.
You know those little pouches you can buy in Target/WalMart, etc that you shake and they get warm?? Well you should buy a little supply of those to use during your long runs. Even if you are wearing gloves, those digits and toes still can get that cold sting after you have been out there a while. Take those pouches, shake em up, and put one in each of your gloves. Bye bye, stingy fingers. Ready for a gamechanger??? Put one in each shoe, as well, and keep those toes toasty in the frigid temps. The pouches last a few hours so they should last the duration of your long run.
Don’t Try to be a Superhero
If it’s icy outside, it is probably a good idea for you to NOT try and run outside that day. One false step on a patch of ice, while put your training on the shelf for a period of time and none of us want that. Full disclosure, I say that but I seldom follow my own advice. I DESPISE the dreadmill, so it will take some very bad ice to keep me from running outside. So far in all my ice adventures, I have fared pretty well, minus a slight slip here or there. If you are a hard head like me, and are determined to run in on ice, go head and invest in some spikes to help your gripe. Running shoes are not built to handle ice, so don’t expect too much help from them during your attempted “ice skating” adventure.