With 5 Tricks Running in the Winter is No Problem
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CONCENTRATE ON YOUR PACE AND DISTANCE.
Instead of focusing on your heart rate, focus on your pace and distance. During winter, your heart might not precisely measure how hard you’re working out. Your heart rate may also rise a little higher as temperatures drop in order to pump blood to your extremities. Your oxygen requirements, however, will increase more rapidly. If you train depending on your heart rate, you might harm yourself by attempting to keep your usual numbers. Concentrate on reaching your target mileage at a rational pace. Use your monitor to ensure you’re not being too hard on yourself.
WEAR WARM CLOTHES.
During winter, you must double the layers of your clothes. You can purchase an expensive jacket but if you don’t have enough money or you’re a penny-pincher (even though you don’t admit it), a few layers will do. Here, let me give you some tips on what to wear:
Top – Should comprise of your regular tank or tee, a long sleeved shirt, a light jacket or sweatshirt. On a chilly day, you can forget the jacket. Wear something with pockets to keep your phones, ring, and keys. If the temperature is extra cold or if you’re the type of person who gets chilly easily, invest in a warm wool layer. Wearing a jacket is a must on wintry days. They’re ideal for running because they’re light and most of them have bright colors and reflective areas, helping other people see you especially if you’re running at night.
Note: Before you purchase any new clothes, check your closet first. You might have thin but warm fabrics that can work. Who knows, you might have an old sweater deep in your closet you forgot about!
Bottom – Shouldn’t be just shorts! Running tights are standard for both men and women for winter days. Women usually have their leggings just hanging in their closets, so that’s their advantage. Going back to running tights, opt for something fleece-lined. If that’s not enough, wear a pair of shorts on top of those tights. For men, you can purchase wind briefs—this kind of underwear comes with a windproof panel on the front.
Accessories – Could comprise of a headband or an ear warmer to prevent heat from escaping the top of your head and protect your ears. Knit or fleece hats can also be worn. But the most fundamental accessories are the gloves. You can get cheap knit gloves in stores. Wearing a layer of gloves would work too. There are even insulated, windproof gloves which are warmer than a layer of knit gloves. If ever you’re considering a scarf, do wear a neck gaiter instead. You should also protect your eyes and your sunglasses will do the trick.
WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR.
Keeping your feet dry as much as possible would be the target here. So for socks, wear warm ones that actually fit into your shoes. If you want, you can check out The Smartwool PhD Run socks that have a thin version. I recommend you wear wool socks because they have the ability to keep your feet warm even when they’re wet. If you don’t own wool socks, you could use synthetic wicking fabrics. Just never use cotton.
As for your shoes, you could use your summer shoes if you have warm socks. If you’re dead serious about running during winter, you need to upgrade your shoes. Opt for shoes that have water-resistant uppers; they keep the water out. You can also buy almost entirely waterproof shoes but they’ll be expensive. Other shoes also come with a built-in gaiter that keeps the snow away from your ankles.
DRINK WATER LIKE IT’S SUMMER.
This is a crucial trick. You may think that since it’s cold and dry outside, you won’t sweat. That’s a wrong notion. You might not feel it, but your body can lose as much fluid in winter as it does in summer. So drink water after every run and stay hydrated the whole day. You can always gauge how much sweat you lose on your run using your sweat loss calculator.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS.
Last but not the least, know when to not run. Staying wet and cold outside your house for too long can lead to frostbite or hypothermia. Check the weather forecast before you make your way out. You can set a backup plan in case the condition outside becomes perilous. For instance, you can run around areas that make it easier for you to get home in case of an emergency. If you still want to run outside but you can’t, check if there’s an indoor track in your area. Small tracks are still better than no tracks at all! Know your limits and don’t push yourself too much.