Here in DC it feels like spring already, but for the rest of us that aren’t experiencing crazy non-winter-weather, its important to think about how the cold affects your training. Here are just a few pointers to keep in mind before your cold-weather runs:
- Stretch, a lot more than you are used to: I know I’m completely guilty of forgetting to stretch out my muscles sometimes, but in the cold weather, its even more important to take time with your stretching, as the cold can make your muscles stiffer. Once you’re in out of the cold from your run, be sure to take even more time than normal to stretch out. Not only will this help you avoid injury, but your body will thank you the next day.
- Optimize your outfit: While the cold may encourage you to bundle up, be sure not to load up too much on the layers. You want to go for an outfit that will keep you warm with the least amount of sweat. Fabrics that wick away the water are definitely preferable for the winter months.
- Warm up before you run: To help your body cope with the shock of the cold when you step outside, workout a bit indoors before you step out of the door. This pre-run warmup can help take the edge out of a freezing day.
- Consider some hot cocoa afterwards: After a run, your core body temperature drops quickly, so consider enjoying a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate to celebrate a run well done. The heat from a warm beverage will definitely help your body deal with the drastic change in temperature.
What do you do during the winter months to stay motivated and active? We’d love to hear your tips! And, as always, run on runners!