Tips for Winter Running

Photos by Kurayba,

As the days grow short and the weather gets colder it can be easy to neglect exercise in favor of hot chocolate by the fireplace. Of course, many Coloradoans love the outdoors and want to stay in great shape all year round. For those of us that run, this means getting out and putting a few miles in even when it’s a bit frigid. Here are a few tips for staying safe when you are running in the wintertime.

Stay Warm

The first thing is to stay warm, but not too warm. Dress like it’s about 20 degrees warmer than it really is. It should be a bit cool when you first go out, but as you run you will warm up. If you dress too warmly it will be uncomfortable and you will sweat, which can be a problem in cold weather. Also make sure your shoes don’t have mesh, Gore-Tex running shoes are a great choice. You don’t want your feet to be cold and wet.

Warm Up Inside

Do your stretching and a quick warm up before you go outside. If your body is already warm, the cold temperatures outside will be much easier to handle. Cold weather will also make you less flexible so it’s more important than ever to stretch and warm up properly.

Be Seen and Be Bright

Short days mean you may be running before sunrise or in the evening dark, at least here in Colorado. It’s very important that in low light condition you wear bright colors or reflective materials. This is particularly an issue if you are running along busy streets. There are options that range from subtle and stylish running gear with reflective material included in the design to bright, highly reflective safety vests designed to make you extremely visible. Just don’t head out with your black running tights and black hooded jacket.

Don’t Slip

Ice and snow can be treacherous and foot and ankle injuries and occur very quickly. It’s best to avoid slippery surfaces, but if you do take that chance you might look at getting some ice grippers for your shoes. These devices clamp on to your shoes to give you better traction. Many runners will alter their foot strike to try and compensate for slippery condition. The better option is to shorten your stride to increase stability.

If you do have an injury be sure to follow the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and contact your local podiatrist as needed. Drs. Hatch, Vaardahl and Atherton are here to help with any injuries that might occur.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *