Welcome to Winter!
I am always surprised at when I talk to many athletes when they mention their temperature cutoff for winter running. This can range from 5 to zero, to -5 to -15 to a downright chilly -30 degrees Celsius (or more).
I come from a background in downhill skiing so I am familiar to the Winter cold. This does not mean I like the cold. 🙂
Nonetheless I am ready to head outside to train on my run days.
Here is a recent picture of my saturday brick class just about to start our run in -30 degrees C (including windchill).
Here are some Winter Running Tips
1.) Dress for the cold – check the temperature and windchill before heading out
2.) Run into the wind – before your start your run know which way it is blowing so the wind is at your back on your return home (this is so important!)
3.) Proper shoes wear some shoes that have good grip on the bottom for any snow or ice. Choose shoes that have denser material to help keep your toes warm. Currently my winter run shoes are the Newton All Terrain Trainer and these work well for me.
4.) Limit your time running based on temperature – In my brick classes we almost always head out to run no matter what the temperature but what we will change is the type and duration of workout. If conditions are very cold and slick we will change the workout to a very easy jog and usually only run 15 min into the wind and then 15 min return with the wind at our back. Typically called “Survival or Character building Runs”.
5.) Cover up your skin (face and hands) If you look at the picture of us you can see that most of us have something to cover our face (neckwarmer or other). I also chose to wear ski goggles and that really helps me on super cold days.
6.) Layers – Start with wicking clothing close to your body and then add more layers. Aim to finish your layers with a wind resistance jacket or pants.
7.) Be careful on any hills or slight changes in elevation (especially bridge decks or under passes) as they can be very slick with thin layers of ice.
8.) Carry a phone, and tell people where you are going and when to expect you back
9.) Hydration / nutrition – if you are running for more than an hour remember to bring water or a sports drink with you to help stay hydrated. Gels can easily be consumed during your runs. Keep them close to your body so that they do not freeze. I remember one run where my power bar was much too hard from the cold to try and eat.
I hope that these tips will help you keep your run training going throughout the winter. Hey, if you do not like the cold there is always a treadmill! 🙂