I walked out to my car yesterday to this. Icy, wintry, beautiful snow was falling all around me. For the first day of December, I believe that Mother Nature is signaling to us that Fall is officially over.
A few of my classmates are from warmer climates. Some were excited about the new weather conditions, others were not. I’m making it a mission of mine to cheer them up and teach them how to embrace the beauty of winter 🙂
With winter, however, comes shorter days and colder running conditions. I have been running in the winter for quite a few years now, and I even trained for my first half marathon from December to March.
Here are some tips to get you through the winter in great shape 🙂
Cold Running Myths:
Myth 1: Your lungs will NOT freeze. As much as your non-running friends may warn you about it, this is will not happen. Man has survived the ice ages, and your body is well adapted to warm and moisten the air that comes in. From my experience though, I do develop a little bit of burning in my nose and throat when temps dip below 15 or so degrees Fahrenheit. Running experts suggest wrapping a scarf or using a gaiter to warm the air. Do what works best for you. (your lungs can freeze, but you have to be dead first and then stay outside in the icy temps)
Myth 2: Running will provide most of the warmth that you need. False! While you should be wary of over dressing…most experts recommend dressing as though its 10 degrees warmer out…you still run the risk of hypothermia if you aren’t dress properly. Check wind chill factors. The same 35 degree run that felt warm yesterday will feel twice as chilly with 20 mph winds. I suggest layering, that way if you’re over dressed, you can take off a layer mid run.
Baby, It’s DARK Outside:
Cold weather isn’t the only thing you need to worry about in the winter. The days are shorter, and the chances of you running during the dark hours of the day are greater.
- Make sure to run on the correct side of the road…the left. You’re opposing traffic and you can see cars coming at you.
- Do not assume that the car can see you, even if you look like an airport run way. Assume they don’t. Too many drivers, even at night, are fiddling with phones, their radio, or even just dozing off. Run in the grass for a bit until they pass you or even stop running and get off the road.
- Reflectors, led lights, and head lamps are the best bet to be seen. White or bright clothing can only be seen at a distance of 50 feet, not enough time for a driver to get around you.
- Look for vehicles pulling out of driveways. They probably won’t see you.
- If you run with headphones, make sure you can still hear things going on around you. I might even forgo wearing them in the dark all together.
- Run with ID and even carry a cell phone incase of emergencies.
- I now run with protection in the dark. I carry mace with me, and it gives me a sense of peace during my run.
Equipment I like for running in the dark:
Asic LED Light: magnetic, so that it can go anywhere, plus its lightweight $15
Sabre Red Mace: Always a good idea to protect yourself. $12
Spi Belt: You can carry your cell phone, keys, and id. You can even buy a reflective one. $22
Equipment I like for Running in the Cold:
Asics Thermopolis Half Zip $59.50 depending on how you layer it, you can wear it from 50 degrees to 20 degrees plus its lightweight.
Under Armour Arctic Headband $17 great to keep your ears warm, and it doesn’t itch!
Smart Wool Adrenaline Sock $15 to keep your tootsies warm
Hope these tips help you get through the winter both safe and warm.
Warm and Happy Running to All 🙂