It’s cold outside. Snowy, icy, dark both morning and evening. Not in Jamaica, but for those of you from away that’s the reality till next Spring. And while the treadmill beckons, you want to run outside. Here are 7 tips for winter running:
1. Slow Down! What’s your hurry? With unsure footing now’s not the time to be heroic. Take it easy. Focus on your form…especially on your foot landings. The trickiest weather conditions to run in are actually around the freezing mark when wet roads and sidewalks can freeze up unexpectedly.
2. Cold temperature. Frozen footwear transmit more ground force impacts. During the winter you may experience sore knees and hips after cold runs due to the different forces. Try running more slowly and not as far. And as a general rule, don’t run outside in cold weather for longer than two hours or so.
3. Multi-layers. There are three basic layers to running in the cold: A base layer for wicking moisture from your skin; A mid-layer for warmth; An outer layer to reduce the wind. For your hands, mitts will provide more warmth especially on the coldest days. Replace your short socks with longer and thicker socks. Wind and exposed skin don’t go well together…on those super cold, windy days, protect against windchill with a full head and face balaclava.
4. Shoes. Generally I use a pair of running shoes with soft-tread soles with more aggressive lugs. Non-slip covers with steel studs are available for areas with lots of snow cover but watch out when running with studs on pavement or concrete sidewalks. Try to strike the ground with your mid-food to get the most tread contact.
5. Hydration. Dehydration can occur on longer runs. With the base and warm layers, you may sweat more. This may be reduced because of your slower pace but you should carry hydration. Waist belts work best but remember to keep under your outer, wind layer to minimizing freezing.
6. Indoor Training. Think indoor track or treadmill. While the latter may not appeal to you, an indoor running track works well especially for intervals and speed work. The added benefit of harder interval workouts is that you will improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.
7. Travel. Ahhh…that’s why we schedule Reggae Marathon in December. It’s a great warm weather destination where you can run like Jamaicans: without the layers of cold weather gear. That means waiting till December 8, 2019 so in the meantime look for somewhere warm and go running!
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy