How to Avoid These Winter Running Mistakes
People have the tendency to stay indoors during the winter, protecting themselves from the harsh conditions and enjoy their bowl of hot soup. The truth is, running when it’s freezing outside is one of the best ways to see what you’re really made of. However, there are a couple of rookie mistakes you should watch out for so that you stay visible, warm, and safe throughout your run. In this article, I’ll cover some tips on how you can avoid these common mistakes.
Bad Choice of Clothing
The rule of thumb is to dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. Your body warms up rather quickly and if you’re overdressed, you might overheat. Most people agree that you should have at least three layers:
* Wicking base layer (DryFit, polypropylene, etc)
This is the first thing you put on, and it serves the purpose of keeping you dry and warm by wicking the sweat away
* Insulating layer (fleece, Polartec)
This layer should trap some air so you stay warm while releasing some heat to avoid overheating.
* Windproof and waterproof outer shell (jacket)
This layer should protect you from the brutal wind and/or rain. It’s important to do your research on the top winter running jackets on the market, and find one which is best suited to the conditions; it may be beneficial to choose an option with thicker material to provide extra insulation.
Obviously, those are the basics. You may wear gloves and earmuffs if it makes you comfortable. Also, make sure the soles of your shoes aren’t worn down. The pavement gets slippery especially when it’s snowing, and you don’t want any accidents.
Not Staying Visible
While we’re focused on our run, we tend to forget that we’re the most vulnerable users of the road. Wear bright, flashy colors. If you run when it’s already dark out, by all means, run with a headlamp and you can even buy reflective tape that is designed to be patched on clothes. Your run means nothing if you get hurt because you took visibility for granted. Be extra careful when crossing roads, and make sure your intentions are obvious.
Not Prepared Enough
Running in the winter has some risks. Before you head out, here are a couple of things you should do:
* Plan your route – Make sure you know exactly where you’re going. You don’t want to get lost should a snowstorm occur. Not the right time to be adventurous.
* Extra cash – In case the weather gets too bad, you may need to take a cab home, or stop for a hot bowl of soup while the skies clear.
* Warm up before going out – Kelsey Quinn, a running expert, and assistant track and field coach at the University of Portland suggests some light cardio such as skipping and high-knees and side shuffles before leaving home.
Though the thought of running in the cold sucks at first, you’d be surprised to see how rewarding it is once you’ve clocked in your miles. If it’s your first time, start off slowly and don’t expect to set a new PR. If you follow the given advice, you should be able to make it back safely and satisfied.