1. Track the Weather
All cold weather is not created equal. That’s why it’s important to know what the temperature, chance of precipitation, and the wind chill factor will be before heading out the door.
2. Select the Right Gear
Certain fabrics are good for running in the cold weather, and others are not. Wicking fabrics are great, especially for base layers, because they wick sweat away from your body, helping to regulate your body temperature.
- Along those lines…. cotton is bad for winter running. Cotton doesn’t wick moisture away. Stay away from it.
- For insulating layers, stick to fleece or wool. You want a material that will hold in the warmth while also keeping out the cold air. Fleece excels at that.
- For jackets, pick a waterproof material (preferably with ventilation to allow for breathing). Bonus if the jacket is also specifically designed to be windproof. Wind makes everything colder so the more you can protect against it, the better you’ll be.
- And don’t forget to protect yourself from cars and fast-moving objects by wearing reflective elements.
3. Dress in Layers
There is a saying in Sweden that goes something like “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. You just need to dress correctly to protect yourself. Here is a breakdown of the essential Winter running gear:
- A Base Layer is the very first layer you wear (also includes underwear and sports bra, so make sure those are wicking fabrics too).
- An insulating layer is worn over the base layer to trap heat in and keep cold air out.
- Tights are perfectly comfortable all year round. Choose a polyamide fabric for greater comfort and quality. And fleece lined for added warmth.
- A Jacket is worn over the insulating layer, when it’s cold enough or snowing/raining, to ward off the wind and precipitation.
- Hats/Gloves/Socks are the things to keep your extremities from freezing up
4. WARM UP INSIDE
Warming up inside the house means you don’t get as tight as when you warm up outside in the cold. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. Try some light dynamic stretches and use a foam roller if you have one to increase blood flow and muscle-tissue temperature
5. CHANGE QUICKLY POST RUN
Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. To avoid a lingering case of the chills, change your clothes—head to toe—as soon as you can. Women need to get out of damp sports bras quickly.
6. DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE
Jump in a warm shower and seal in the positive mental benefits of the run by some deep breathing. Deep breathing benefits your mood by increasing the production of neurochemicals in the brain, boosting feelings of pleasure and happiness.