I'm from Winnipeg, so when I say “cold”, mean it. In January, it gets to -50 degrees celsius. In the summers, we enjoy 32 degree days. from June to August. Right now, we are hitting the cold time of the year which means, it is time to get ready to run in the cold. I just got back from a brisk run, and noticed there were barely any people out running already! The cold weather is no reason to stop running folks. You gota keep pushing forward. However, you have to learn to run in the cold the right way, or you will just do some damage and end up with a cold. I have pictures that motivate me all over my house, and on my computers and smartphones. Here is one from today, then make sure you read the top 10 tips to run in the cold after the short picture break.
Running In The Cold
- Get Motivated to run in the cold!
Listen I don't care who you are, if you don't get yourself into the zone to run in the cold when the wind is blowing, and the sleet if falling, you will not step out that door! Put on some awesome tunes, tell yourself you will enjoy a nice shake when you get back, do something! For me it is the music, and the shakeology bonus drink. I basically make it a rule that I can't have the shake, if I don't put in the effort to run.
- Dress properly for a cold run depending on temperature.
Right now it is only about 0 degrees to -5 degrees celsius in Winnipeg, so I've been able to get away with two tops, one pair of windbreaker pants, and light finger gloves. I also make sure my second layer has a hoody so I can put it up or down as needed, and I wear my Shure headphones which serve as earmuffs. Once it gets colder, to the -10 range, I will add some runners tights, and the pants on top of those. I will also add a neck warmer that I can move over my mouth and nose to warm up the air even further before it hits my lungs. Once we are in the -20 degree temperature range you will want add a third layer to your top, and have to nice warm layers for your legs. Shoes will also become more important here if you have snow on the ground and are worried about slipping. More on that in another article.
- Warm-Up Before Running
Don't just head outside cold! You will be freezing for half your run, and you will likely pull a muscle or cause other injuries. You should be warming up anyway, but it is more important than ever to do it in the cold. Make sure you do dynamicstretching as this is the most effective way to avoid injury, warm up the muscles, and get your blood flowing and body temperature ready for the cold.
- Start running into the wind
I messed this one up the other day. When you know there is a wind, it is imperative that you start your run into the wind, and end with it at your back. This will give you less time with the wind blowing at you once you are sweating.
- Avoid the wind
Ok this one kind of goes with number four, but if you can, try and avoid the wind all together. If you can't, try and find a run that has enough obstacles to block the wind as much as possible. Wind can take the sales out of any great run by blasting you in the face harder than you can handle. If it is moist outside, and you add wind, you will have some serious factors to deal with.
- Forget Breaking Speed Records
In the cold, all you want to do is keep your endurance up, and improve it if you can. You don't want to be running so hard you slip on snow, or ice, and injure yourself for a few months of sitting on the coach.
- Raining Out? No Problem
Just because it's raining doesn't mean you can't run. Simply slip on some socks, pur your feet into some little plastic bags, and slip on your shoes! The plastic will protect you socks from getting wet. Once you get back ,your shoes will be wet, so make sure you take them off quickly, stuff them tight with newspapers to soak up the moisture overnight, and put them close to the heat (but not directly on it). See, nothing can stop us from running in the cold or rain!
- Change Quickly!
Get out of that wet, damp clothes as fast as possible and jump into a warm shower (but not too warm). If you don't do this and take your time to get your clothes off, you are going to start to feel really bad when it all dries up.
- Drink a Warm Drink Post run
If you are really cold make sure you warm yourself up with a healthy drink. There are many great teas you could be drinking. I personally prefer a nice warm peppermint tea after a run, which helps with stomach digestion. Green teas and yellow teas are also fantastic for helping you shed a few extra pounds as well.
- Remind Yourself It Felt Great
Ok so you finished your cold run, did you die? No, you felt great! Remind yourself of the feeling you got when you where one of the few that decided they would give it everything you had even though it was freezing outside. The next time you are unmotivated at the sight of a 6 foot snow bank, just remember how great you felt after you completed the last run!
I hope these tips help you on your quest to conquer the cold runs! If this works for a guy who runs in Winnipeg, they will work for you! Put on those runners and pound out a 5km run right now!