With winter just around the corner, lets take a minute and review running in the cold weather.
Start with Socks
Even in the cold temperatures, your feet still sweat! It is important to have moisture wicking socks. Avoid wearing cotton. While cotton is a wonderful natural fabric, it lacks in the ability to wick moisture from your feet. Remember, wet feet equal cold feet so thermoregulation is key. One pair of socks is sufficient. There is no need to wear double or triple layers of socks. If you prefer a thicker sock in the colder months, just make sure the socks wick moisture.
Living in snowy, icy areas? Consider a trail shoe over your usual running shoes. Trail shoes have deeper lugs on the bottom of the shoe and can help with traction. No shoe is slip proof, so be careful when running on snow as ice may be lying underneath the bed of snow. Many trail shoes are waterproof or water-resistant. This option may be helpful in keeping your feet dry and allow more warmth to your feet. However, if you are running and notice you cannot feel your toes or have pain from the cold stop running at once and get indoors as this could be warning signs of frostbite.
When lacing your shoes, do not lace them too tight. Compressing your feet into shoes can cause decreased circulation and pain. On the same thought, ensure you are fitted with your winter shoes with the socks you intend to use for running. The shoes may need to be increased in length as well as width to allow for a proper fit. Visit Healthy Steps or your local running store for the latest options in cold weather running.
For many, the colder months allow for cross training activities. Cross training is a great way to keep your cardiovascular health and also allow your legs and feet to take a break from the repetition of running. When you cross train, you reduce your exposure to running injuries. Check out your local health club or YMCA for alternative cross training activities!
And The Run
Even though the temps are down, hydration is still important. Carry water with you and drink accordingly. Being cold and dehydrated is a dangerous mix!
Remember to warm up slowly when running in the cold. A brisk five to ten minute walk prior to running will help with circulation and allow the body to prepare for the run. Once you are warmed up, head out and have a great run in your winter wonderland!