One thing that I’ve noticed about runners is that runners always run . . . no matter what. The dark of night, the blazing heat of summer, rain, snow – it doesn’t matter, runners run . . . always. Now that winter is truly upon us and the temperatures continue to dip below freezing and even into single digits in some areas, runners are still running. So, it’s important for runners to stay safe in the frigid air. Here are a few tips for winter runners.
1. Talk to your doc.
Cold air in the lungs can make breathing more difficult in those that already have breathing difficulties, like asthma or emphysema. Or, the cold might exacerbate other medical conditions that you may have. When in doubt, consult your doctor to ensure that winter running is safe for you.
2. Plan ahead.
Plan your route to ensure that it is safe. You’ll want to stay away from areas that are especially icy or roads where snow hasn’t been plowed. Also, make sure that someone always knows your route and when you’ll be back. If you run into trouble, your designated person will know to take appropriate action.
3. Stay close to home.
If you decide to go for a run while it’s snowing, icy or exceptionally windy, evaluate how long it takes you to return home. Running in cold weather is more demanding and you’ll want to pace yourself and keep pretty close to home in the event that your feet get wet, you start sweating or become exhausted.
4. Slow down.
This isn’t the best time to work on speed. Snow and ice can cause treacherous conditions and you may slip and fall. A slower pace will help to identify dangerous areas quicker. Use the sidewalks and plowed roads if possible. As always, run in well-lit areas and dress in reflective clothing if running at night.
5. Don’t overdress!
Brrr! I know it’s cold out, but you won’t need quite the winter garb that you would normally. Sweating is the worst thing you can do in cold temps, because it can increase your chances of hypothermia. When you first get outside, you should feel a little cold. Once you get going, you’ll warm up.
6. Be mindful of your circulation.
The circulatory system controls the flow of blood through your body. Poor circulation is always a risk when spending time outdoors in cold temperatures. When you’re exposed to the cold, it causes a change in blood circulation. Blood flow to the extremities is reduced to help maintain your core body temperature, which protects your internal organs, but creates a dangerous situation for your body.
Put on a pair of Core-Sport by Therafirm graduated compression socks or leg sleeves. The moisture-wicking materials in Core-Sport will help keep your feet dry and warm during your workout and the graduated compression will help keep your circulation going.
True runners are going to keep running all winter long. Hopefully, these tips will help keep runners safe and healthy this winter.