Running in Winter
Running in winter can suck, but its all about your attitude. If you go into it thinking that its going to suck, guess what, it will. There are a lot of great things about running in the winter. You most likely won't overheat. Less traffic on the trails. Quietness, beautiful scenery, nature!
There are a few extra precautions I take while running in the winter months.
1) Visibility Clothing. I do this a lot of the time, but in winter it is extra important. People don't see you, and in winter they are really not looking for you. I mean, who would go out and run when its snowing outside? :)
2) Head Lamp and rear light. Since a lot of people run either before work or after you end up running at night during the winter. This can be an additional issue #1 doesn't really help with. That being said, a good head lamp really goes a long way. I also recommend wearing a light on your back. Ever see a car with only its daytime running lights on? They are kind of hard to see if you are behind them at night.
3) Layers. Layers are super important to stay an appropriate temperature during a winter workout. I have a rule that has worked pretty well for me. 1 layer for every 10 degrees under 40, until its 0, then 6 or more for the upper body. I usually start with a Under Armor winter gear long sleeve and then go from there. If its windy I usually wear a wind proof jacket (logical). For the legs I usually do tights, and possibly more layers after that.
4) Change up stride a little. I do this, but to each there own. I played a lot of hockey growing up so ice and snow for me is second nature. I am usually lighter on my feet and I push off less. Kind of like what you should do when running in sand. This way you are not wasting energy kicking back snow. It is a perfect opportunity to practice good form running. If you are heal striking you are much more likely to slide when you hit that slippery patch.
5) Slow down. The winter is a time to recover and rebuild. You can't do that injured. I usually slow up my pace a bit.
6) Run with friends. I have a Tuesday night run group. If it wasn't for them I would probably not run outside as much as I do during the winter. Having others motivate you and encourage you to do it will make it happen on a more regular basis.
7) Last but not least, drink water even if you are not thirsty. Your body won't be sweating as much, but you still need to stay hydrated.
I'm sure there are other great tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.
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