As much as I HATE cold weather, there is something about the chill in the air that makes me love my winter long runs. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I definitely don’t look forward to walking out the front door and getting slapped in the face by Jack Frost but once I get moving and the blood starts flowing, I start to feel that rush that gets me through.
I guess the fact that I’m out braving the cold while most normal people are warm in their beds just makes me feel tough. I get to test out my dedication to running every time winter rolls around and I somehow always seem to pull through. Ok, enough tooting my own horn.
Cold weather is a common deterrent for a lot of runners. But if I can get through those dark and frosty mornings, trust me, anyone can. All you need is the right gear, layers and strategy. Here are my personal proven tips to surviving the winter long run:
- Gloves. I can’t stress this point enough. And while it may seem like a no-brainer, make sure you invest in some good gloves. When you’re hands/fingers are frozen stiff, it can make for a pretty uncomfortable run.
- Headband/Hat. Your head and face are very sensitive to temperature changes so cover up and keep that sucker warm!
- Thermal Wear. My personal favorite cold-weather running apparel is made by Under Armor. They have “Cold Gear” which is thin and form-fitting so you don’t feel weighed down or constricted but the material against your skin keeps you nice and warm.
- Wool Socks. I like to double up on my socks when temps drop below 30 degrees and the bottom layer is usually a pair of thin wool socks. They are thin enough to fit another pair over them and my running shoes on top of all of that without feeling like I can’t even wiggle my toes.
- Warm-Up Inside. If you have a treadmill, walk for about 3-5 minutes to start getting your body warmed up. Or just walk around your house to get the blood flowing. That way, you can start jogging as soon as you get outside and you won’t waste energy shivering during your warm-up.
- Hydration. It’s not just for summertime! Just because you feel like you aren’t going to lose as much water weight in sweat in the colder weather, hydration should not be forgotten in the wintertime.