It’s no secret that winter is an intimidating season for a lot of runners. The thought of getting out of your warm bed is hard enough as it is, and factoring in the elements when you actually get out there can be quite daunting.
While you could take the easy route and stay indoors on a treadmill, it’s just not quite the same as pounding the pavement out in the fresh air with the wind against your back. We get it – easier said than done. You’ll likely have numbness in your toes, stiffness in your joints and the inevitable runny nose, but isn’t it always worth it in the end?
To help get you conquer the cold, we researched some of the most common complaints of winter running and compiled a list of helpful tips.
Complaint #1: I wear too many layers because it’s freezing, but then I get so hot halfway through my run.
The Fix: It’s always a good rule of thumb to dress as if it were 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside as your body will heat up in no time once you get your heart rate up. Wearing layers is essential, but it’s also important to ensure your base layer wicks sweat away from your body (Nike Element Sphere Half-Zips are great for this!). It’s also good idea to get your blood pumping indoors before you head out, so that you’re not too chilly at the beginning.
Complaint #2: It’s so hard to breathe in the cold.
The Fix: When the freezing cold air hits your lungs, it can feel be pretty painful. A good tip is to breathe through your nose. However, with your nose running, this can sometimes seem impossible, and you might find that you’re breathing through your mouth more often than not. In this case, it’s a smart idea to wear a Buff over your mouth or a balaclava.
Complaint #3: My nose won’t stop running!
The Fix: Sometimes sniffling gets to be too much, so consider carry a couple tissues in your pockets. You can also put some Vasoline around your nostrils to prevent chapping.
Complaint #4: My toes become so numb that I can no longer feel my feet.
The Fix: This can make your run incredibly uncomfortable, so it’s important to be smart about what kind of socks you’re wearing and what type of running shoes you have on. Winter running shoes are a great option because they have repel water while keeping your feet cool. We’re big fans of the Nike Free 5.0 Flash.
Complaint #5: My ears and hands get so cold that they start to burn.
The Fix: Your fingertips and ears are made of thin skin and cartilage, which makes them ultra sensitive to the harsh winter elements. Try wearing a headband around your ears or winter running gloves to prevent your hands and ears from burning. Also, be sure to wear an outer layer with pockets that will allow you to store these items in case you get too overheated.
All things considered, don’t forget that running, even in the winter should still be enjoyable. So, bundle up, get out there and have some fun with it!