Even if you're an avid runner who is used to going out in all seasons and regardless of the weather, it's likely that you'll benefit from some tips for running in the cold. While many people turn to gyms for exercise during the cold months, others lose motivation and stop working out as much or even at all. Armed with the following tips for running in cold weather, you'll be better able to keep healthy and motivated throughout the entire year.
1. Protect Your Feet
While many people who run during the cold months spend time worrying about the rest of their body staying warm and dry, the feet are just as important a part of you as anything else. Make sure that you have thick shoes that don't contain too much mesh, as this will let in water and moisture. Look for shoes with a Gore-Tex protective layer, and take the time to treat your new shoes with a protective coating of water-resistant spray before you run.
2. Bundle Up Appropriately
If it's cold outside, the tendency might be to bundle up as much as possible when you go outdoors. However, when you're running outside while it's cold, you won't want to bundle up as much as you would if you were just walking. Rather, you should aim to wear clothing that will keep you as warm as possible without causing you to become overheated as you run. This should also not interfere with your natural ability to move or to sweat.
Layering shirts and leggings is a great way to provide extra insulation and protection from the cold without inhibiting your ability to move around or adding to your weight significantly. Experiment with how many extra layers you'll need depending upon the temperature out of doors, and be sure to augment any layers with the appropriate gloves, hats, and scarves.
You may not realize it, but the potential for sunburn in the cold winter months is just as good, if not higher, than it is during the summer. Take note of whether the sun is shining brightly, and protect yourself appropriately. It's a good idea to use a sunscreen that is resistant to moisture and sweat, and be sure to cover your face, neck, arms, and legs, as well as any other areas that may not be covered up by clothing.
Although you may feel differently while running in the cold, and you may not be aware of sweating as much as you would in the heat, it's still important that you hydrate appropriately before, during, and after your workout. Be sure that you drink a good quantity of water and that you have access to water while you're running as well. This will help to ensure that you don't run into any additional health problems as you're outside running when the weather is cold.