Running at night is what kills me in the winters. Treadmill running (with tips we shared on another post) is a good alternative, but what if you want to go out and have some fresh air.
This topic comes up every year with cooling temperatures. It is a reminder, unwelcomed, that winter is just around the corner.
Even when it’s cold and dark out there, you don’t have to cut your runs. As long as you are well prepared, you can run in cold weather.
Find Motivation to run in the cold
First things first, it is a good idea to get motivated to run outside in cold weather.
Running outside can improve your energy level and help you sleep better at night.
If you remember these things before heading out for a run, you will be sure to stay motivated. Meeting up with a friend is another way to assure you will run because you won’t want to let your friend down.
When you run through winter in the cold, think about the gratitude you feel once the temperatures rise again in the Spring. Well, that might not be the best motivation given Spring is many months away.
Tips to adapt the cold weather running
But in the meantime, here are some tips and things to do differently to adapt the cold weather:
- Bundling up. Basic gloves from Walmart go a long way towards keeping in the warmth. The hardest to keep warm in cold temps are the fingers. And when the temperature drops more, Merino wool under layers and a warm hat will get you through.
- Extra stretching. We, runners, tend just to go out and bypass stretching. That is not a big issue on warmer weather, but in the colder months, try to find the moment to stretch pre- and post-run. Stay inside and move around to get the blood flowing. Run up and down the stairs or use a jump rope, but without breaking a sweat. You will notice a notable improvement in how you feel both during and after your run.
- Be Flexible. These shorter winter days leave little choice but to run in the dark, whether you run before or after work. Rather than avoiding the run altogether, try to go even for a shorter sprint.
Curious as to other’s perspectives, I found a short article on Build Your Bite (https://buildyourbite.com/10-tips-running-cold-weather), which highlighted one aspect I hadn’t thought of. It says that even though it’s cold and you may not be sweating, you should carry water to stay hydrated. A small handheld water bottle maybe, or a running belt. Got any others?