Having the temperature drop below 50 degrees can be a true blessing when running in Texas, but it does come with its own set of complications. Here are 5 tips on staying warm, staying safe, and loving running in cold weather!
- What should I wear? This can be the most important and complicated part of winter running, but just remember two things: cover your head/hands and layers! The first layer should be moisture wicking and light weight. Next add fleece, a lightweight jacket or cotton – to absorb heat, and the last of the layers (if you need it) should be something wind and water resistant. From there, cover your head (stocking cap, beanie, ear warmer, etc) and hands – as blood flow goes from those places to your core (to keep that body temperature up). We want to protect and cover what we can without overheating or freezing. (And bonus tip: dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than it shows on the news. It will prevent you from overdressing!)
- Let’s warm up! To get the body effectively ready for the mileage ahead, begin your workout or your run with a light jog or brisk walk for 5 or so minutes before a dynamic/static stretching warm-up (if you have one). Focus on your breathing and relaxing. Your body will want to tense up to protect itself from the temperatures, but that will only create more soreness in the long run (pun intended)!
- Don’t forget to eat! Cold weather exposure increases the use of glycogen (carbs!) for energy use. If you are not properly fueled, your blood sugar can deplete, which suppresses shivering (your body’s way of producing heat!) and causes your body temperature to drop (which could result in hypothermia). Prepare for your cold weather runs by eating a balanced meal 1-2 hours before you lace up and during your run, stick to simple carbs and sugars to keep your blood sugar up.
And while we are on the subject, do not forget to drink water and electrolytes to replenish what was lost during your run!
- After your run – Once your run or workout is complete, do not spend too much longer than a few minutes in the colder weather. Get home and change out of your cold, wet clothes before stretching and hopping in a warm shower. The warm shower will increase blood flow, help you get warm a lot quicker, and decrease muscle soreness.
- And our last tip – stick to daylight hours! The two biggest reasons for running early in the day is the body’s absorption of vitamin D (which we unfortunately do not get enough of in the winter months) and the temperature will be slightly higher. You will stay warmer and it can create a better mood for the rest of your day – win win!
While the weather changing creates a change in the norm, and you may have to adjust your gait/pace, warm up/cool down, and how you dress – you absolutely have the ability to run in the cold! You do not have to stick to the treadmill until the temperature is back in your favor (if you don’t want to!). Begin your preparations now and you will be able to keep going until spring has sprung once again!
Find all your cold weather gear needs by shopping at lonestarfootwear.com/shop or in one of our stores in Fort Worth, Plano, or Southlake! Stay warm, friends!