Have I told you how much I hate being sick? My cold went from a minor annoyance on Friday to feeling like death most of the weekend… so while we did some fun stuff (Christmas party! Christmas gift shopping! visiting the house!), I spent most of the weekend on the couch with a cat snuggling on one side and a box of Kleenex/bag of cough drops on the other side.
I am finally starting to feel a little better and have Orangetheory Fitness tonight… we’ll see how that goes.
So speaking of the crazy holiday season, let’s talk about winter weather running today. I’ve lived in a lot of different places (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, New York, Texas) that have resulted in different winter weather conditions for running. Florida, it finally felt nice to go outside and not super humid and gross (only lasted for a few weeks).
Wisconsin usually meant drifting/blowing snow with ice crunching under my feet. Austin gets a little chilly, with some ice storms each year, but nothing that isn’t too challenging to run in.
Throughout my runs in all the different states, I’ve definitely learned a few things about winter weather running that I wanted to share:
Layers, layers and more layers!
Layers are your friend when you run in the winter months. I have an older version of this vest from Brooks and I generally wear it over a long-sleeve shirt, with the option to unzip or take off the vest once I get a little warmer (I used to think that vests were dumb, but they are AMAZING and keep your core SO warm — highly recommend, especially if you tend to sweat a lot like I do).
Protect your extremities.
In addition to layers, makes sure you are wearing warm socks to protect your toes, the right gloves for your fingers and something around your head to protect your ears. I think this varies based on who you are and again, how “warm” you run as a person…
I generally need a little bit less (except for my toes, they get cold!), and find that the Drift Glove works great. It gives me some “layers” on my fingers, with an option to remove the top, windproof layer once I get warmed up (or if it’s not a windy running day). I also love the Greenlight Beanie to keep my ears warm (both when I’m running and not!).
Warming up is key.
If your muscles are cold and you go out in cold weather… not a good combination. Either do some dynamic stretching (high knees, but kicks, etc.) or spend your first minutes running at a slower pace to warm your muscles up. It makes a huge difference!
You still need to hydrate!
I feel like I drink less water in the winter because I don’t sweat as much, but you still need to stay hydrated! If you do a long run, make sure you bring fluids with you (especially since most cities shut down their bubblers in the winter months) and keep a bottle with you during the day too.
Know your conditions.
We don’t have to deal with ice as much down in the south, but no matter where you run, make sure that you know what the conditions are like and be prepared for them. If you are running in snow and ice, think about using something like NANOspikes to give yourself some extra grip along the way.
There is such thing as too cold to run in.
It depends on the person and what feels cold for you. I generally stick with — if the feels like is negative or the temperature is at 0, it is too cold for me to run. I am generally a little wimpy when I first go to WI in the winter months because my lungs haven’t been trained for the cold air and it can hurt. A lot. But, set your limit of what is too cold and stick with it — don’t guilt trip yourself into running in too cold of weather because it can lead to injury or even sickness.
To make sure YOU are staying warm during winter running, Brooks wants to hook you up with some winter gear (hat + gloves) to keep your runs happy!
TO ENTER: tell me what you love most about winter in the comments below!
Giveaway ends on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. CT and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday morning!
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