Dark, wet and temperatures far below 0° F are the conditions when all runners suffer at this time of year.
Not only is it uncomfortable to run outside in these conditions, it can also lead to injuries and infection. If you want to compete or train outside, consider following these tips below.
As the cold air can cause damage in the lungs, you should choose the mildest hours of the day, if you are forced to do your workout outside. You will want to choose an extra layer of windproof clothing because the wind can cool down your core-temperature. You will want to wear more thin layers, because this way you can adjust your apparel to the needs of your body and avoid exceeding perspiration while your body is warming up during your workout. Because most heat is lost through the head, you will want to wear a hat while running outside. To protect your facial skin from the cold temperatures, use an acidic skin-cream, or if you’re like my husband, wear a ski mask.
When you have finished your run, make sure to replace your workout gear with a dry and warm layer of clean clothes as soon as possible so you don’t catch a nasty cold from finishing a workout and having a chill.
If you have an opportunity to switch your training to an indoor facility to avoid extreme temperatures, I’ve got tips for that too.
Runs can be shifted 1:1 to the treadmill. You will want to choose 1-3% ascend to simulate running outside. Be sure to stretch out your calf-muscles, because the ascend causes more power-transfer out of this area. If you are doing intervals on the treadmill, raise your speed at the end of the previous zone, to be in the high-interval-zone from the first second on. Stay in the interval-zone until the last second and then slow down to the recovery-speed.
If you like diversion, you can use a stepper, an elliptical-trainer or a cross-trainer instead of always running on the dreadmill.
If you are not into a treadmill or machine, this is a great opportunity to mix it up and add strength and flexibility workouts. These workouts will help you to improve your running while still providing an alternative for a safe warm indoor workout at home.
Indoor or outdoor, be sure stretch and dress appropriately!