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Cold Weather Running Tips

Posted on December 7th, 2011

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Below is a great read from Jenny Hadfield. We’ll be sharing some of Jenny’s blog postings from time to time, since they directly relate to a lot of our community. Please click the Like or Tweet buttons above to share with your own network.

Along with her winter running tips below, make sure to pick up a Wrist Saver for those nighttime runs. Since most of us are running at night due to the short days, the LED light and reflective edging on the Wrist Saver really helps oncoming cars see you. Happy running and enjoy the article.

Running, Jogging, Walking

Although running outdoors in the winter has its challenges (just getting out the door), once you’re out the door you’ll quickly begin to reap the many benefits of your efforts.  First, the fresh air and sunlight will transport mood and ignite an authentic appreciation for the season.  It breaks the cycle of hibernation and gives you something to brag about.  And finally, barring any major weather conditions (epic snow storms, sleet, extreme cold), it is easier to run in the cold than in the heat as your body doesn’t have to fight to cool itself.  For those who just ran through the record setting heat this summer, this is a true gift.  The hardest part is taking the very first step.  Here are a few tips to make your winter workouts a little easier.

  • Dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than the current temperature.  Dressing for warmer conditions will allow for your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat.   The key –> you should feel chilled when you walk out the door.  If you are toasty warm, remove a layer.  Less is more and these days the apparel is highly functional.

 

  • Keep a log and track your outdoor wardrobe in various weather conditions.  Write down what you wear in a variety of temperatures and weather conditions as it will eventually become like clock-work and you’ll head out the door confident in what you’re wearing is the right amount of clothes.  Keep in mind, everyone is different, so what works for you may not for your neighbor.

 

  • Accessorize (this is my favorite part of winter workouts:)  The best part of exercising outdoors in the winter is the shopping!  Having the right apparel makes all the difference in the world and layering is the key to finding the perfect running ensemble.   Your winter wardrobe should include a technical wind resistant (or windproof) jacket, hat or headband, gloves, tights and a few long sleeve shirts.  The layers that are against your skin (top and tights) should be made from a wicking material like DriFit as it pulls the moisture away from your skin preventing getting chilled.  Your body temperature increases as you run, so you don’t need many layers in most winter conditions.  In fact, you’ll be surprised at how little you actually have to wear to stay warm while moving in the cold temperatures.  For most, wearing a technical long sleeve top, tights or pants, wind-resistance jacket,  gloves and headband or hat is plenty to keep you warm in temperatures all the way down to 32 degrees!

 

  • Run during the warmer times of the day.  If you’re blessed with a flexible schedule, exercise at mid-day to absorb that needed sunshine we rarely get in the winter.  You’ll get your miles in during the warmest time of day and come back with a smile on your face.

 

  • Be Seen.  If you exercise in the dark hours, wear a reflective vest and flashing lights so you’re seen in traffic.  In snowy weather, wear bright clothing.  Bring an I.D. or put one on your shoes just in case.

 

  • Invest a little extra time to warm up.  Your body warms up more slowly in the cold weather, especially in the morning.  Take at least 5 minutes to walk briskly before you start your workout.  It may take 10-15 minutes of walking or running before you are completely warmed up and in your normal tempo.  Another trick is to take a hot shower right before you your run.  You’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel on the run.

 

  • Start into the wind.  Start your run heading in to the wind so you’ll have the wind at your back on your way home.  You’ll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you’ve been sweating (not fun).

 

Remember less is more when dressing for cold weather workouts.  Once you take that first step, the rest just keeps getting better.  Stride for stride, you’ll invigorate as you breathe in that fresh, cool air!

By: Jenny Hadfield
Runner’s World, Active.com, Women’s Running
Blog posting: http://askcoachjenny.com/cold-weather-running-tips/

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The idea for Personal Savers was born in 1995 by Derek Downing and Chad Smith, two national and world champion professional inline speed skaters. While training on the open roads in Georgia, they always came across unruly drivers and stray dogs nipping at their feet. Derek's father David Downing owned an in house pepper spray business that sold to police forces worldwide which helped spark the idea of the original Wrist Saver.

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