Outdoor running is an experience to treasure. You can roam your favorite routes and still enjoy the quiet of with exercising alone. Although you might see gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, the winter weather can sometimes pose a challenge.
It’s easy to head outside for a jog when spring and fall brings light breezes and pleasant temperatures. However, that all changes when winter arrives and temperatures plummet. Freezing wind, snow, and slush all create a less-than-ideal environment for running.
If you’re struggling with your winter exercise routine, read these five essential tips for running in the cold.
1. Wait Until Sunrise
Heavy overnight snow means that you’ll have to run around snowbanks the next day. Snow also limits how far drivers can see down the street and creates icy patches.
If you run on busy streets, it may be in your best interest to wait until sunrise to start your jog. Drivers will be better able to see you up ahead and you’ll have less ice to deal with as it begins to melt in the sunshine.
2. Focus on Maintenance
When runners try to beat their records, they occasionally pick up their speed for as long as they can. In the winter, your body restricts nonessential blood vessels to direct more blood flow to your organs. The blood flow increase causes your heart to beat harder and faster so that it can move more oxygen to your limbs. Sprinting in the cold can sometimes raise your blood pressure dangerously high, so when the temperature drops below freezing, focus on maintenance running.
3. Complete Warmups Indoors
When you complete your warmups indoors, you limit your exposure to freezing temperatures. When you perform effective indoor exercises, you’ll get your blood flowing, so don’t feel like you need to stretch your calves on your icy driveway.
4. Never Suddenly Stop Running
As your body increases your blood flow to protect your organs, your limbs become cold and stiff. Your stiff body creates levels of discomfort, especially if you suddenly stop running. Slowing down when you need a break helps you avoid joint pain in your knees and keeps your heart rate up, so you’ll be ready to run again after you catch your breath.
5. Buy Shoes With Traction
Rubber soles don’t provide the best grip when you run icy roads. However, you can buy specialized shoes that will give you a better grip on the road. Investing in the right shoes will help prevent slips and falls this winter!
You know how your body feels when you run in the heat, but when the cold weather sets in, work your way up to your standard routine. Give your body time to adjust to working harder to complete the same distance you usually run. Use these tips to work out smarter and listen to your body when you brave freezing temperatures!