The temperature is dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to switch to running indoors on a treadmill. While you’ll need to change your running habits, the winter can be an exhilarating time to exercise outdoors. Embrace the cooler weather and follow these six tips for getting the most out of your winter runs.
1. Rethink Your Route
Gauge what direction the wind is blowing and start by running into the gusts so that you’re running with the wind at your back at the end. It’s better to be a little chilly at the beginning of your run than to have the wind leave you freezing when you’re covered in sweat. Also, if the road is icy, find a new place to run where you will have more traction and are less likely to slip and injure yourself.
2. Dress for Success
Dress in layers so you can remove them as you begin to warm up on your run. The body heat you’ll generate from running can quickly turn a toasty outfit into a roasting outfit, so be sure to dress so that you are slightly cold when you begin your run. You’ll thank yourself when you’re hot and sweaty at the end.
3. Change Your Running Schedule
If you want to avoid the cold as much as possible, opt to run sometime between noon and 4 p.m. This will be the warmest time of the day, making it a more enjoyable experience if you don’t prefer the colder weather.
4. Increase Visibility
Now that daylight saving time is over, the sun sets earlier, and it may be darker outside at your usual running time. If you’re running in the dark, wear reflective clothing and use some sort of flashing light to make sure motorists can see you.
5. Follow the Trail of Lights
As the holidays approach, mix up your running route to residential areas and admire the decorations that people have put up. If you’re running at night to see the glimmering holiday lights, be sure to follow tip #4 to make sure others can see you.
6. Take Advantage of the Lower Temperatures
Between the high temperatures and the overwhelming humidity, running a race in the middle of a Texas summer can be absolutely brutal. Enjoy the colder weather and sign up for a race in the winter. There are many races offered in the colder months when people can run with a lower risk of heat exhaustion. Don’t forget: staying hydrated is just as important in the cold, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your race.
Whether you’re new to running or a seasoned pro, an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician can make sure you’re exercising appropriately. If you’re looking for advice and motivation to help you meet your running goals, learn more about the St. Luke’s Health Run Club. If something doesn’t feel right as you run this winter, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician to avoid exacerbating any potential injuries.
Runner's World | 10 Tips to Make Winter Running Less Miserable
Active | Winter Running Tips