It’s getting cold outside, and as if the weather weren’t uncomfortable enough, it can also be a barrier for runners who like to exercise outside. Sharp winds and low temperatures make breathing difficult and increase the likelihood of various injuries, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait until spring to hit the track again. If you’re a runner looking to keep up your routine throughout winter, read on for some tips on how to do so safely.
Staying warm without overheating can be a bit of a balancing act while running in winter, but it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Our best tip is to dress in layers, starting with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin. Add a fleece pullover or cozy sweatshirt for warmth, and top it all off with a windproof, water-resistant outer layer. You’ll be able to adjust your clothing as your body temperature fluctuates throughout your run.
Cold exposure causes blood vessels to constrict and reduces circulation, which is not only uncomfortable but can actually put your extremities at risk. Protect your head, hands, and feet with accessories made of warm, breathable materials designed to wick away moisture.
Before running in the cold, it’s essential to warm up thoroughly in order to prevent injuries. Begin with a few minutes of dynamic movement to get your heart pumping, then move on to some stretches to promote flexibility. Once you head out, be mindful of the terrain—shorten your strides to maintain balance on slippery surfaces, adjusting your pace as you go.