It is winter and a time for a great run and appreciating the snow outdoors. Running can be challenging for even the most experienced athlete. These are some tips on what you will need for a safe and inspiring run.
Invest in Good Winter Running Gear
When you begin any exercise program, it is important to invest in good equipment. This is especially true when you run. Invest in the best shoes that are comfortable, lightweight and will give you the support that you need. My favorite winter running shoe features are being waterproof, roomy to wear extra socks, and grippy outsoles to help with better traction on snow and ice. Check this article from Runner’s World on great guidance. Also wear socks to help with supporting your feet, ankles and legs. Purchasing spikes to wear over your running shoes will also help you on icy patches and on the trails for sure.
Flexibility to Account for Weather Changes
It is important to be flexible with your schedule to allow for the best times of day to keep you safe. Research the weather online or listen to the radio to learn the warmer days during the wintertime that are best for running. If you live in a region where there is a lot of snow, see if you can pick a regular place an outside track that is well shoveled and allows for a good run.
Warm Up Before Your Winter Run
Warming up before any exercise program is important to develop your body to handle your workout. This is especially true with running. Create a great warm up routine of about 10 to 15 minutes prior to your run. It doesn’t have to be long, but it will help you to stabilize your heart rate better during running, warm up your muscles and joints to prevent from injuries. Check out my warmup routine on YouTube https://youtu.be/bVOEE0UQ4HI
Do Not Stress About Your Pace
It is important to not stress about your pace during your winter run. Your speed will come with time and more experience, but your pace is also affected by weather conditions. This is especially important for a beginning runner or someone who never run in the winter before. Start with a slow pace that allows you to run longer and stretch your body. In winter it takes longer to warm up your joints, tendons and muscles, so just be patient. Winter is definitely not the season to crush your personal best, it is rather to maintain your endurance and let the body learn how to adapt to colder weather.
Appreciate the Natural Outdoor Beauty
Running outdoors during winter is one of the best things in the world. You give your body the fresh air it needs and you learn to appreciate the natural beauty all around you. A run in your favorite park or in a beautiful meadow or forest gives you time to admire and appreciate nature and all of its beauty.
Recover Smart After Your Run
Recover from your winter run by warming down (should be saying cooling down, but not in this season) with slow-paced exercises that will stretch the body and lower your heart rate back to normal. This is critical to keep your body balanced after your run. Drink lots of water or electrolites to replenish the water that was lost while sweating during your run. You will also want to replace the nutrients and salts that were lost. Eat something healthy to give good nutrients to your body to gain back your strength and energy. My go to post run food is a protein shake with fruits and greens. Take your cold clothing off and take a nice hot shower or bath to relax after a great run.
These are the best running tips to help you get prepared for an experience you will not forget. Remember that it is all about safety first during the weather changes that often come during the wintertime. Have fun on your run and know that you are doing something extra special for your body that will have lifelong effects. And if you need help with cross training exercises or injury prevention, please contact us to book your consultation or Physiotherapy assessment.