January 6, 2011

Winter Running: Tips, Tricks & Training

The Northeast is battered by storms, California is drenched in rain and even in the South they are feeling the cold – it’s the middle of winter and you don’t want to halt your training schedule, but how do you brave the elements?

For most runners, both amateur and professional, training in winter simply requires a few changes and adjustments. It is possible to sustain a running regimen during the colder months, however, keep in mind that certain climate situations can be hazardous so be sure to check the weather daily. If blustering winds and thunderstorms keep you off the streets for one day, why not hit the gym instead?

Runner’s Edge NY has compiled some tips and tricks for training in winter from our experienced, professional staff. With over 30 years in the business and a slew of employees who run marathons and are qualified Triathletes, we believe this information will be as helpful to you as it has to us!

What to Wear: Layers, Layers, Layers!

Winter brings out some of the harshest elements – from biting winds to slippery ice and chilly rain. In order to maximize your workout without hurting your body or your health, make sure to insulate against the cold by applying layers of clothing.

Start underneath with some women’s or men’s running tights to keep your legs warm. Compression tights have the added benefit of enhancing the workout and keeping sweat away from the body to prevent chafing! Up top, start with a moisture-wicking base layer, then add a mid-layer of a running vest or a half zip top.

In rain or particularly cold weather (below freezing), you will want to add a running jacket designed specifically for insulating the body against the elements while not obstructing your movements while you run. We recommend the Brooks Essential Run Jacket for both men and women. Base layers should be made of moisture-wicking material and the outer layer or shell should be water-and wind-resistant.

What to Bring

Always take your I.D and a water bottle if you’re out for a long run. Even in cold weather, it’s easy to dehydrate, even if you don’t feel it. Remember to drink fluids before, during and after your run. If you are running during the day, be sure to slather on some sunscreen as skin damage can occur in winter too!
It's important to have identification on you at all times during a run. We recommend the hugely popular Road I.D identification bracelet - find Road I.D products by clicking the link on Runner's Edge.

Safety in Numbers

Winter streets can be slippery, or worse, desolate. Keep things safe and social by running with a friend or group. Find local running groups in your community by checking online!

Bundle Up!

Now that you are decked out in some warm, insulated running clothes it’s time to make sure the rest of you is warm too. Having the right running accessories will make a huge difference once you go outside – try some running gloves or a hat.

Time of Day

Picking a time of day to ensure a safe and successful run is necessary. Remember that winter days have fewer hours of sunlight so your usual after-work jog may not be bathed in sunlight as it is during the long summer days. Schedule your winter running regimen to take place during the sunlit hours and reap the benefits of warmth, safety and a good dose of Vitamin D!

Safety Measures

If you schedule does not allow for daytime running, be sure to wear reflective gear when do go running at night. Whether you opt for a reflective vest or shoes, make sure you are visible! You can also purchase a Nathan L.E.D. Clip-On Safety Strobe Light and clip it to your clothing for added visibility – both for you and others on the road! Always have your I.D with you and make sure someone knows that you are going for a run and which course you take.

Slip & Slide

Winter weather means snow, ice and sleet. Prevent slipping and falling by choosing terrain that has more traction and is less slippery. You can also adjust your stride – shortening the distance and keeping low to the ground will minimize the chances of an accident. Fresh snow is safer to run on that ice or packed snow. When streets are covered in slush, it’s hard to see potholes and other road damage so keep an eye out when you run! Also, be sure to check your shoes – older, worn shoes will have less traction so make sure your gear is in tip top condition.

Stretching & Warming Up

We all know how important it is to stretch and warm up correctly before and after working out, but in winter it becomes absolutely essential. In colder temperatures, the body takes longer to warm up so set aside 10 minutes to stretch lightly and get the blood flowing before pounding the pavement. Even more essential is stretching after your run while the muscles are warm. This will help to prevent injuries- your muscles will thank you!

No matter what climate you train in, Runner’s Edge NY is here to help! Browse our huge selection of running gear and accessories, contact us to take advantage of our 30+ years of experience and our staff of Triathletes and marathon runners, and check out our owner, Bob Cook, giving advice on how to dress appropriately for your type of training in the January, 2011 issue of Runner’s World.


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  2. When the house is warm and fire is roaring, the last thing you can feel like doing is lacing up and braving the cold. But if you keep moving through the winter months, you can reap the benefits. So, to keep things interesting, and help you keep active.

    Gretta Hewson
    Belden Cables

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