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Is it too cold to go running?

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Most of the country has colder than usual weather. With the Midwest well below zero and the South U.S. experiencing temperatures significantly lower than usual, it leaves many runners wondering if it is simply too cold to go our for a run.

Of course, the most die-hard runners will say that it is never too cold to go runner. Dr. Stephen Fealy, a sports medicine doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, told Runner's World that runners shouldn't run outside for more than 30 minutes when temperatures are below zero. In addition to cold-weather conditions like frostbite or even hypothermia, Dr. Fealy notes that you are less likely to feel pain in cold weather.

If you decide to go out for a run in frigid temperatures, stay close to home so that you have the opportunity to go back at any point. Wind can make your run even colder than what the temperature feels like, so it's important that you give yourself an easy way to warm up, even if you have to do several loops.

Wearing the right gear can make a big difference in your warmth factor on your run. Experts recommend that you wear layers. Make sure you have extra warm clothing and accessories on your toes, fingers and ears.

Most brands, like UnderArmour's ColdGear clothing and Brooks Running, will offer a temperature recommendation for their gear so you know how it will protect you in even the coldest of temperatures.

If you are not comfortable running in cold weather, don't despair. Try running on a treadmill indoors. Most gyms will offer a free day or weekly pass to non-members, which can be useful when it's chilly outside. Work on your cross-training by trying a free indoor fitness class in your area.

In addition, you can always opt for a rest day to keep your muscles happy and healthy and ready to run once the weather warms up.

Lora Mays is an avid runner who has been running for more than 15 years. In this time, she has found a love for marathons and plans to run her 15th and 16th this spring. When she isn't running, she is blogging about it at Crazy Running Girl.

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