Old Man Winter has reared his head in the Midwest and East Coast this week, as many faced temperatures near -- or even below -- zero. Keeping warm during running routes in the winter can be challenging for many runners, especially as they face snowstorms and high winds.
Here are five tips for better winter running:
- Wear layers, layers and more layers. Layers are the key to staying warm in winter weather, no matter the temperature. It's easy to take a layer off during a run and tie it around your waist. If it's snowing or windy, think about wearing a windbreaker as an exterior layer. For the layer closest to your skin, moisture-wicking is the best to ensure that you aren't chilled by your sweat.
- Cover your fingers, ears and hands. Your extremities will likely be what gets the coldest in winter weather, and often isn't covered in layering. Make sure you wear a headband to cover your ears. As you will warm up during your run, think about what will be most comfortable as you tick away the miles. Bondi Bands, for example, are lightweight but over protection for your ears.
- Be aware of slippery roadways. Most winter injuries are caused by runners slipping on snow or ice. Prepare yourself for a slower pace to stay safe when you encounter these elements. Skip bridges and underpasses that may be more likely to have black ice. Additionally, if snow is piling up in your area, think about adding some extra grips to your shoes -- like Yak Trax -- to stay safe.
- Find a buddy. Running with a partner is good motivation, particularly in cold weather, but it is also safer to run with another person or a group. In the Brooklyn area, there are several group runs held on a weekly basis. JackRabbit Sports and Prospect Park Track Club both host runs for members and nonmembers.
- Adjust your goals. Ideal weather conditions will make it more difficult to meet goals. Your race times may be slower in the winter and it may be harder to meet goal paces for tempo workouts. Reconsider your goals by taking the weather into account. If the weather is too severe, consider running inside on a treadmill or a cross-training activity.
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