Winter Running Tips

By: Bobbie Perkins

Anyone else having trouble getting out the door in these wonderful winter weather conditions? I mean geez, Mother Nature, do you not know Run the Bluegrass half training is going on now and we need decent weather!? Yes, I know there is always the dreaded treadmill to turn to, but I despise the treadmill. So my choices are to either bundle up and suck it up or skip it all together.

I thought I would share some of the most popular winter running tips. Most of these we all know already but it doesn't hurt to have a little refresher.

Stay Visible
You know we runners love our bright neon colors. Show 'em off and be seen! Invest in some type of flashing lights like and arm or leg band. Most are inexpensive and worth the investment. And remember to always run facing traffic.

Layers, Overdressing & Hats
Even though it's hard to remember that you will warm up even when is 0° or less outside, try not to overdress (I am the worst about this one!) Dress in thin wicking layers and avoid cotton. Cotton holds moisture and you do not want to be wet and freezing. Also be sure to wear a hat. At least 40% of body heat is lost through your head so cover it up and keep the heat in.

Try Avoiding the Wind
If at all possible try choosing a path with little to no head wind. Or run into the wind at the start of your run so after you warm up, the wind is at your back. Running into the wind after getting warmed up and sweaty will get very cold!

Adjust your Workout
If there is no clear path that isn't snow/ice-covered and slippery, don't risk it. It's much safer to skip a run rather than risk an injury and be unable to run for months. Be safe, runner friends.

Don't Worry about Speed Work - Run with Friends
Although we are always striving to be faster, winter running is not the time to work on speed. Unless of course you have a nice, safe, clean path to run on. Even with a clear path you still need to consider the temps and watch how warm your body gets. Plan on meeting up with some of your other "crazy" runner friends and enjoy the run together. And why not plan on everyone getting together for a nice hot breakfast or lunch after your run?

This is important all year, even when it's cold and you don't feel the need to drink up. Well, drink up! Dehydration can cause problems no matter what the weather is like. This is another one I have some problems with in the winter months, so I am trying to make myself drink two 20-oz cups of water during work and at least one and a half at home.
Don't forget, you can follow more of my Journey in Running including my current training for Run the Bluegrass Here.  Run Happy:)

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