There’s no need to wait for spring to begin training for race day. Winter running is a great way to incorporate your workouts into a year-round routine. Here are some cold-weather running tips from the Road Runners Club of America and Lindsey Andrews at Fitness Sports.
- Avoid frostnip: Frostnip is a mild form of frostbite. Continued exposure to cold leads to numbness in the affected area. As your skin warms, you may feel pain and tingling. Frostnip doesn’t permanently damage the skin.
- Prevent frostbite: Once sub-zero temps hit, exposing skin takes about 30 minutes to get frostbite. Exposed skin in cold, windy weather is most vulnerable to frostbite. In extreme cold, frostbite can occur on skin covered by gloves or other clothing. As frostbite progresses, it affects all layers of the skin and tissues below and requires medical attention.
Don’t ignore shivering: It is a vital first sign that the body is losing heat, and you may be in danger of hypothermia.
- Plan your route: Oncoming winter storms can quickly drop the temperature putting you at risk for frostbite or hypothermia. Know where to find shelter if the weather turns, or head back home and live to run another day. Avoid running on roads: In snowy conditions, drivers cannot maneuver and stop.
- Layer up: Layers of clothing that will help you maintain your core body temperature during the run. It is better to wear a little more and shed your layers as you warm up than not wear enough and develop hypothermia dangers. Heat escapes the body in two main areas – the top of the head and your core. Keeping these two areas controlled in temperature will help will your overall race experience! If it’s cold, put on a hat and potentially a vest or base layer top; if it’s warm out, go hatless or with a lightweight running cap and a lightweight top that can wick away sweat.
- Buy traction cleats for your shoes: There are great products on the market that slip on your shoes to help improve traction control on ice and snow. Look for brands with a high rating, like Yaktrax.
- High-quality running socks are a must-have for race day! Any cotton in your socks increases your chances of blisters and hot or cold feet. Look for socks with a polyester blend mixed with nylon or spandex. This will make all the difference! My favorite options are Feetures, OS1st, and Balega (get fitted for a pair at Fitness Sports!).
- For all of you long-maned runners – plan out your hairstyle! The last thing you want to do is try a new style of ponytail or braid on race day that you’ve never tried in training. Use the same hair ties, pins, clips (etc.) you want to use on race day for your long runs to ensure they’ll hold up for that duration.
Are you looking for personalized coaching to help you achieve your running goals? Fitness Sports will help you set goals, weekly check-ins, and customized plans. You can partner with Lindsey at Fitness Sports for all your official personal training needs—email Lindsey@FitnessSports.com.
Check out our printable training plans at Fitness Sports – coming soon! If you want a custom training plan made weekly just for you, focused on your abilities and goals, and added extra accountability, click here.