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Embracing winter on the run

There is no need to hibernate. With the warm winter sunshine glancing off the bright, white, snowy landscape, cold weather running can be exhilarating.

With the right mindset, gear and advice, you can build on your running foundation this winter and prepare for a solid spring. Let’s get started.

Dress for the weather

As temperatures drop, dress in layers.

Layering allows better control of perspiration and heat. Choose a light first layer close to the body to help wick away perspiration. Next, an insulating layer to maintain heat. Finally, a windproof outer layer.

It’s also important to cover and protect the extremities susceptible to frostbite, such as the fingers, ears, and nose.

Warm up

Take a few minutes to visualize your intentions for your run. Shift your focus from the weather to your goals.

Complete an easy warm-up inside with all of your layers on. Once outside, perform a few heart-spiking exercises to help your body adjust to the temperature before you start your run. Don’t start with a sprint, ease into it.

Effort not pace

You will not have the same pace in the winter as you do in the other seasons.

Between the cold air and the extra layers, you are going to be slower. Run by effort, not your watch.

Breathing cold air during high-intensity workouts can be difficult. Breathe in through your nose to help warm the air reaching your lungs.

Instead of a high-paced run, plan on a longer and less strenuous workout. Let your system acclimate to the low temperature. Increase the intensity as your breathing allows.

Build up strength

On those days when it’s just too cold, invest some time in strength training.

Every winter squat, lunge, and deadlift will make you a stronger runner in the spring.

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