With shorter days, colder air and snowfall, it’s clear that another True North winter is well underway. These conditions can prompt even the most dedicated runners to retreat indoors to the treadmill- or worse, to the sofa. Yet though it is tougher, it’s not impossible to maintain a pleasant and rewarding outdoor running practice. If you’re looking to keep running outdoors even as the temperatures start to dip below freezing, there are a number of tricks and changes to your routine that will make your run less painful. Here are our best tips for a safe and enjoyable winter run.
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Dressing to exercise in cold weather can be extremely tricky. Bundling up in a heavy coat can be appealing when you take your first steps out the door, but realistically, a heavy layer is going to make you overheat within a couple minutes. Focus on keeping your ears, hands, and neck covered with a couple of well chosen accessories that won’t weigh you down. Thermal shirts, sweaters and leggings do wonders for keeping you warm without requiring multiple layers, while outer shells help to block the wind.
Invest in proper footwear
If you’re planning on running in snow or slush, you might want to consider a pair of waterproof running shoes. Luckily, there are a number of shoes on the market for runners looking to battle the Canadian winter. Keep an eye out for waterproof running shoes have soft spikes or a grip on the soles, which will prevent falls on icy terrain while keeping your feet dry. Stay away from shoes with too much mesh, as these can let in snow and rain more easily.
Is there any worse feeling than stepping out of your warm house into the cold air? Avoid that initial shock doing a 5-10 minute warm up inside before heading out for a run. Try jogging up and down the stairs or do some jumping jacks. This well help you face the cold outside and allow you to skip that painful, freezing start that can lead to discouragement.
Though you might be less aware of sweat during a winter run, that doesn’t mean you can simply skip the water bottle. Winter months tend to be drier, meaning that it’s just as important, if not more so, to consistently replace your fluids. Try skipping the ice and go for room temperature water that won’t be so rough on your throat.
Let’s face it, running in below-zero weather doesn’t always seem appealing. It’s no wonder that many new runners abandon the practice as soon as temperatures begin to drop. Stay motivated by finding a running buddy who will hold you accountable or by setting a goal, like an upcoming 10K, that will force you to keep up with training.