During the fall/winter period, plenty of people put away outdoor activities. Most of the time it’s due to low temperatures or rain. There is also a popular belief that running in the winter may cause more harm than good, although it is not true.
How to get prepared for running during winter?
Winter running is a whole different kind of fun compared to the rest of the year. Obviously, if we suddenly start running right in the middle of winter and when it’s extremely cold, we can indeed hurt ourselves. Snow is falling, it gets dark fast, the cold is biting at our ears and nose, and the freezing air makes breathing an arduous task. Such conditions make going outside to exercise a real triumph of willpower. Similar symptoms will be experienced particularly painfully by the beginning enthusiasts of running and they may lose their motivation to carry on very fast.
Those difficulties are easy to overcome by starting the journey with running much earlier. If we start running no later than by the turn of October, the body will be gradually getting used to the decreasing temperatures, but it’s a good idea to start even earlier than that. All kinds of sudden changes may have a negative impact not only on the perception of the effects of exercise, but also on its results.
Adequate clothing is essential. What to put on?
When it comes to very low temperatures, Thermal underwear might turn out to be a must and it’s a good thing to always have it around. It fits the body perfectly and drains moisture. On top of that, it is elastic, lightweight and incredibly comfortable.
When choosing the right outfit, it’s a good idea to use the rule of thumb: we dress as if it was 10 degrees more outside than in reality. After a very short time, our body will start warming up intensely, and overheating in such conditions might be very dangerous. That’s why we should forget about a down jacket, scarf or gloves. Long, insulated leggings and Lightweight running shoes will be more than enough.
The majority of body heat is expelled through head, which means it’s better to also leave the beanie hat at home. If the runner really does need it due to personal preferences, it should be something made of a thin material, or a kind that is easily penetrable by moisture and breathable.
The cotton is definitely an enemy of a winter runner. It doesn’t expel moisture well enough and after a longer run it becomes heavy and wet. Which in turn contributes to faster heat loss, and when a cold and wet material is sticking to our back – we’re as good as cold! Which makes it a good idea to pay attention to the material our running gear is made of.
Another enemy of a winter runner is the surface. Rain, deep snow, or even ice are adversities we will have to face. Good shoes are a must. The best option will be models with an aggressive tread and waterproof membrane. The kind that ensures stable running without the risk of slipping while also protecting from moisture. If shoes with that kind of soles turn out to be too expensive, there are also special anti-slip pads available on the market.
What else will we need?
Because winter is the time when it gets dark very fast, it’s a good idea to take care of several other pieces of equipment. Reflective elements should be an essential aspect of clothing regardless of the season, but it’s especially important in winter. Let’s not forget that when it’s dark, not only runners but also drivers have a very limited visibility, so they should look out for one another!
Running treks to the forest are a great idea, but for that kind of trip it’s better to get an additional light source. A lightweight and comfortable Headlamp is a perfect solution for every kind of terrain that is not illuminated.