Cold Weather Running Tips

I was sitting at my Son’s Soccer game awhile back and one of the other parents was talking about how cold it was on her run this morning. I was reminded of the importance of taking care of yourself when running in the cold winter weather. In Northwest Oregon it seems as though the temperature drop 20-30 degrees in early October and then we settle into the 33-45 degree rain nightmare for six months. When the temperature does drop though you have to be aware of some things when you go out to run.

Here are a few tips we wanted you to be aware of if you are going out for a run. First be aware that it is ok for you to run outside when the temperatures drop below freezing.

1. Choose the right clothes – Keep in mind your body will make it seem like it about 20 degrees warmer than it really is outside. So you will still sweat while your running or working out. This means you want to avoid choices like cotton that hold on to your sweat. As you run it makes it easy to get chilled as the sweat freezes. Try to make sure the layer closest to your skin is a dri-fit material designed to draw moisture away from the skin.

2. Protect the extremities – Make sure to keep your head, hands, and feet warm. Check out your local running shop for hats gloves, and socks to help keep the feet warm. Keeping your extremities warm is a great way to prolong your run. I have been working out in the cold plenty of times and needed to stop because my feet could no longer take it.

3. Stay Hydrated – Like I mentioned earlier you will still sweat in the cold so it is important to make sure you stay hydrated. Stay hydrated before your workout and then make sure to have some water at a spot along your run. It is very common for us to not drink as much water when it is cold outside so make the effort. Being dehydrated can have a serious negative effect on your run.

4. Warm-up inside – If at all possible try to do your warm-up somewhere warm. This will help to make sure that you are allowing the muscular system to be capable of accomplishing everything necessary for a proper warm-up without the negative side effects of the cold.

5. Careful with your Asthma – Make sure you check with you Doctor if you suffer from asthma before you go exercise in the cold. The cold air can worsen symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems so make sure it is safe before you go exercise in the cold.

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