Don’t let winter put your running routine on ice.
With frosty conditions and biting winds, running in the cold can seem miserable. But, it doesn’t have to be. Preparing yourself mentally and physically can keep you logging miles even after the temperature drops.
As an avid runner all year long, Madisson Ledan offers nine tips to help you crush the next cold-weather run.
Set a goal
Treat yourself. If you are going to punish yourself with a gruelling run, have a reward waiting. This can be something small or an activity, like meeting up with a friend afterwards. Setting a time limit can work too. This can add extra motivation to power you through.
Warm up inside
Get the blood flowing indoors first. When the body is already warm, the cold doesn’t feel nearly as abrasive. Madisson Ledan recommends a dynamic warm-up for a couple of minutes. This can include lunges, air squats, or jump rope.
Wear the right shoes
Dressing appropriately starts from the ground up. Find footwear that keeps warmth in and any wetness out. Strong traction is also ideal to prevent slipping. Pair these sneakers with warm, comfortable socks that are designed to keep your feet dry.
Build a base layer
A base layer serves two purposes. Not only will it wick away moisture, but these are also less bulky and restrictive than thicker clothing. Start with this base and then add extra layers as needed.
Keep head and hands covered
Any exposed skin is problematic. Wear thick earmuffs, beanies or a hat. And always wear gloves. If you do get too hot, you still have the option of taking them off and stuffing them in your pocket. Pro tip: Madisson Ledan equips disposable hand warmers. You can stick these inside gloves in extreme temperatures.
Dress like its warmer
Avoid overdressing. As a general rule, deliberately dress as if it’s 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. This ensures you won’t sweat too much and get chilly. Begin a run feeling slightly cool. Your body’s heat will compensate for the rest. Trial and error is the best approach. The more you run, the more you’ll find what’s most comfortable.
Factor in the wind
Pay attention to how the wind blows. Run into the wind first. Finishing with the wind at your back eliminates some chilliness after you’ve broken a sweat.
Hydration is important no matter what the thermometer says. Sweating may be a cue that you need a drink, but you’re still losing fluids even in the cold. At minimum, consume enough water as you normally would during an average day.
Change after your run
Warm back up quickly after a run. Since core temperatures plummet as soon as you stop running, change into warm, dry clothes immediately. Madisson Ledan encourages soup or a hot beverage, like coffee or tea.