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Running In The Cold Tips

Running in the winter might be difficult because you can’t just leave your house and start jogging when it’s 25 degrees outside and windy. Cold weather running necessitates specific preparation because temperatures in the 30s and below have a tendency to lock up your body and convert your extremities into icicles, resulting in stiff joints and stiffened muscles. You can perform successfully, avoid injuries, and actually take pleasure in it that way.

First, a quick reminder: After a certain point, running becomes physically impossible. For instance, when it’s 0 degrees with the wind chill, as it frequently is where I reside in Denver. For valid health concerns including hypothermia, frostbite on exposed regions, and an increased risk of heart attack (if you’re at risk), I advise against doing that. It simply isn’t worth it.

However, all it takes is some preparation if the weather is not too bitterly cold and you want to run outside under the open sky because it sure beats staying inside and doing nothing. Continue reading for advice on avoiding frostbite while it’s cold outside.

Warm up completely

If you typically just warm up for five minutes before heading outside, extend it to fifteen. Take extra time to truly relax your muscles and joints, as well as to raise your body temperature to the point of mild perspiration. In this manner, the cold won’t seem as bad and your muscles won’t tense up as much when you step outside.

Wear an additional, simple-to-peel garment, such as a light hoodie that you can tie around your waist later if you need to warm up outside.

Warm up your hands and head

Keep your head and ears warm in the cold even though it has been demonstrated that this myth about heat loss through the head is untrue. Put on a thick beanie or earmuffs; you can quickly tuck them into your pockets if you grow too warm. Wear gloves as well. When it’s below zero, I don’t see how people can run without gloves. Your fingers gradually get numb and stiff even when wearing gloves.

How to Prepare for a Cold Weather Run and What to Do During and After

Much of running in the cold is similar to running in other conditions; you’ll be paying attention to your form and breathing; ideally, you’ll be taking in the scenery and keeping motivated. But when temperatures drop, there are a few special factors to take into account. Keep in mind the following cold-weather advice for your body’s preparation, what to watch out for while running, and how to cool down and raise your core temperature afterward.

How to Prepare for a Run

You should warm up your body before starting a run while it’s freezing outside. Before you go, make some dynamic movements: Anything to get your circulation flowing and loosen your joints, which might feel tight in the cold, such as windmilling your arms, jumping jacks, or squats. Start with a quick, five to ten minute warmup that includes a brisk walk or slow jog. When you first begin to run, keep your pace conversational; you should be able to easily breathe and speak while doing so.

When You Go for a Cold-Weather Run

As your body gets acclimated to the cooler temperature, your first few winter runs may be slower than usual. On your first few attempts, don’t expect to break a personal record or cover a lot of miles.

You should always pay attention to your form. Maintain a comfortable posture, swing your arms forward rather than sideways. Keep your chest erect and not stooped over. Plant your feet firmly and correctly. If it’s freezing outside, your lungs could feel constrictive, but if your breathing becomes difficult, simply slow down, go back to walking, or take shorter strides.

You should also be mindful of your footing. Avoid ice or snow that is slick. And watch out for puddles; you don’t want your shoes and socks to become wet. Ice ahead! You can warn your running companions if you’re with them. (They’ll be grateful, we promise.) If you’re traversing a difficult or slick part of path or sidewalk, it is always safe to walk. If your hands start to get cold, try tucking them inside your gloves, putting them into your armpits while you’re taking a break, or lifting your shoulders up and down to give your fingers some movement.

Athlete woman is running during winter training outside in cold snow weather.

Keep in mind that your body may not be registering thirst as it would if you were running in the heat due to the cold. If you intend to run for more than 45 minutes, you should still water and fuel your body.

After a Cold Run, Recovery

By the time your run is over, your body should be warmed up, but the weather may have made you feel chilly. However, you should still think about performing a five-minute cooldown, such as a gentle jog or walk to return your heart rate to normal. If you’re finishing the run at your residence, immediately change out of your wet clothes. Consider packing a change of dry, warm clothing to change into if you’re going back to your car or another location after the run so you won’t have to return in a wet T-shirt and sweaty hat. Remind yourself to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and warm beverages like tea afterward. You should also do some moderate stretching.

Check out our other running articles for more tips.

Keeping yourself safe is your duty. This page is only meant to serve as supplemental information; no internet article or video can take the place of appropriate training and experience. Before you participate in any outside activity, be sure you are familiar with the necessary procedures and safety precautions.

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