January 26, 2014

Cold Weather Running Tips

That darn Polar Vortex is here again. I have never been more thankful for my treadmill than I was this morning. It was 18 degrees and snowing...not my favorite conditions for a long run, especially on the icy hills of Pittsburgh. For those of you who are running outside (you crazy fools!), here are some tips to make sure you are staying safe.

  • Make sure you wear the proper clothing. Your outfit should vent - do not run in cotton! It is no fun to be cold AND wet while running. 
  • Layer up - but don't wear too many layers. I've always been told the rule of thumb is to dress like it's 20 degrees warmer than it really is. You want to be warm, but you don't want to sweat a lot and catch a chill. Make sure your outer layer is windproof. Also make sure your outer layers are bright and reflective.

Photo from my instagram

  • Wear a hat! Heat escapes from your head and you need to retain as much heat as possible when it's negative degrees out. Don't forget your gloves or mittens either - heat also escapes from your hands and feet.
  • Make sure your shoes have traction. This is especially important when the roads are slick.
  • Protect your eyes. I don't know about you, but the cold and wind really bugs my eyes and makes them water. I recommend investing in a good pair of athletic sunglasses. This is also helpful when the sun is reflecting off of the snow.
  • Don't forget fluids! Fluids are just as important when its cold as they are when it is hot out. Cold air dries out your skin and can have a dehydrating effect. 
  • As always: carry your ID or cell phone, run with a buddy if possible, and let someone know your route.
Since winter running also means running in the dark, check out these tips too.

Stay warm everyone!

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