Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s shortened week is off to a good start so far!
Since I’m finally getting back into a regular blogging routine this week, I thought I would get back to my regular Wellness Resource Wednesday posts (sort of). As we head into January and the heart of the cold, nasty winter months, I thought I would share some of my winter running tips. Winter running is not my favorite by any means, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I am not scared off by cold temps or crappy weather (as evidenced by Saturday’s run obviously). When I decided to sign up for a spring marathon, I knew I was setting myself up for some tough marathon training through a New England winter, so I figure I might as well embrace the situation as much as possible! Nevertheless, I’m still
hoping praying for a mild winter.
1. Do a quick warm-up indoors. You’ll want to minimize the amount of standing around in the freezing cold you do before you get running. Try some jumping jacks, high knees, and a few walking lunges to get your blood flowing. I always feel extremely stiff at the start of a run in the cold, but a quick dynamic warm-up easily solves that problem for me.
2. Plug your GPS watch in for a minute or two just before you need to use it (even if it’s fully charged). How much do you hate standing around outside in the freezing cold waiting for your GPS watch to find satellites? It sucks.
And it defeats the whole purpose of the nice, little dynamic warm-up you did (if you followed Tip #1!) When you plug your watch in, it automatically finds a satellite connection, and it’ll maintain that connection when you unplug it and immediately go to use it. I learned about this from listening to the No Meat Athlete podcast, and I’ve been following this tip religiously on all my runs lately and it works great!
3. Wear the right gear (and layer up!). I’m pretty sure this tip appears in every single article and blog post that’s ever been written about winter running, but hey, it’s true. For Christmas, I received the Women’s Under Armour ColdGear running leggings, and they are seriously fantastic. I’ve gone on some rainy, cold runs wearing these and my legs always stay warm and dry through the whole run.
These are also on sale right now! I’ve also heard really great things about the Brooks women’s Seattle Tights, which are waterproof and windproof… but also $165, so if that’s out of your price range, the Under Armour pair are a good option.
4. Pay close attention to the weather/temperature forecasts. In particular, pay attention to patterns in your own preferences. For example, I find that if it’s 32 degrees out or warmer, I don’t need to wear gloves. My hands might be a little cold starting out, but I would rather experience that than getting too hot and having to carry them for the rest of a long run. If you go on a run and find yourself sweating through your base layer, long-sleeve top, and heavy running jacket, make a note of what the temperature was, and remember to adjust for next time. A great rule of thumb is to plan on it feeling 20 degrees warmer than it actually is while you’re running. So, if the temp is in the 50s, I would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt because I know it’s going to feel like 70s.
5. If it’s raining or snowing, put your electronics in a plastic baggy to prevent them from biting the dust. I’ve killed an iPod on a particularly rainy run before, and there’s nothing that makes a gross run even worse than when it ruins an expensive piece of electronics. Or else, you’ll wind up trying to “fix” it.