The winter months are upon us, but that does not mean it should preclude you from running. This is certainly the case for any beginners who feel like the time is right to start developing a routine. Yet, they may be reluctant because the temperatures are freezing cold.
The thing to remember is while it may be chilly when you first step outside, your body will start to warm up as you get moving. Therefore you need to plan accordingly based on what the thermometer tells you. Be certain you have the right gear on for the current conditions in your area.
Your first inclination is going to be to dress like you would anytime you leave the house in 37-degree weather. That means layering to stay warm. However, when it comes to running, the number of layers put on can actually have an adverse effect. It makes it too hot to run comfortably.
The result is that you end up taking some layers off. Then, your only alternative to dropping them on the ground is to carry them while you run. That's not such a great idea either.
There is a good rule of thumb to getting properly geared up for running in the cold. It is to check the temperature and add about 15-20 degrees, then dress accordingly. This way you can let your body generate enough heat to keep you warm.
All you may need to remove is an outer jacket that you can easily tie around your waist. Keep certain factors in mind when estimating the temperature for which to dress appropriately. One is your build and the distance you plan to run. They will come in handy to ensure you are warm enough out there.
The type of gear you wear can also play a large role keeping you comfortable in the cold. When you're buying clothing for the winter months, be sure to stay away from materials like mesh. It is better to opt for warmer components in your running shoes.
They will help guard your feet from the effects of snow and slush on your shoes. Keep your feet extra comfy by going with moisture wick materials in your socks. For everything else go with tech fabrics.
Buy shirts that let you vent the areas under your arms and near the neck with zippers or Velcro. That way you won't need to remove the items entirely when you start getting hot. All you need to do is open your ventilation holes to get the airflow moving.
No matter what you decide to wear on your body or your feet, bring a hat and gloves if it's really cold out or if the winds are kicking up. Heat escapes through your head. Hence, wearing a beanie or some other warm headgear will keep the heat in.
That is because there's nothing more uncomfortable than running while you can't feel your fingers. Go ahead and put them all on. If you get too warm, take the gloves off but keep that hat on.
Running in the cold can take some adjustment for anyone. Many beginners decide to venture out for the first time in severely cold climates. They need to know what to expect. The first thing that hits is a burning sensation in the lungs.
It makes it tough to suck in oxygen and it might feel like you can't breathe very well. It really feels uncomfortable, but don't worry. The pain eventually subsides once your system gets used to inhaling the cold air. It might take a few tries before you fully acclimate. When you do, there won't be that unbearable stinging sensation to run with anymore.
If it's way too cold outside, then adjust the times you choose to run. Instead of doing a six-mile run, break it up. Try doing three miles in the morning and another three later on.
You may feel like you are somewhat comfortable for an extended period of time in the elements. In that case, by all means, try to get some extended running time under your belt. Don't concern yourself with speed or breaking any PR's either. All you need to do is take it slow and easy. Be sure to always watch out for ice so you don't slip and fall.
Improving your running form will not only dramatically reduce your chances of suffering overuse injuries, but it'll also make running more enjoyable and even faster. And the best part is that you can do it right now.
Rather than focus on the overwhelming and boring technicalities of how to run efficiently, follow these simple, actionable, and easy-to-implement running tips.
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