Running in Cold Weather- Workout in the Winter: 3 Tips to Run in Colder Temperatures
By Roger Lockridge
There are many reasons people go to the gym to train and among the top of that list is that it is a climate controlled environment. When it’s hot during the summer months you can work out with the luxury of an air conditioner. During the winter months you can still train in a tank top and shorts thanks to the gym’s heating system keeping you warm. This is very important to those of us that don’t get to train at Gold’s Gym Venice or the other places where snow is seldom seen. Many of us live in places with four seasons and where Old Man Winter makes his presence known.
As long as you make it to the gym then this isn’t a problem but unless you train at a 24 hour gym, that gym will be closed at times and you still need to get a run in. As easy as it could be to skip the workout, it is times like this that can be crucial in meeting your goals. So instead of letting the cold keep you from running, use these three tips to make the most out of cardio so you can move forward without relying on the cold as an excuse.
Running in Cold Weather: Warm Up More
As important as it is to warm up anyway, it’s even more important to do so when the temperatures are lower than usual. Make sure you commit at least 15 minutes to bodyweight exercises that require plenty of movement so blood can circulate to all of your muscles and your joints can be prepared for what lies ahead. Bodyweight squats, pushups, jumping jacks, and arm circles are all great choices. Stretching is also very important.
Create a Path Close to Home
Instead of running out to a certain distance and coming back, run in a loop pattern that is close to your house. It would be rough to be over a mile away from your house and then temperatures drop suddenly or unexpected snow moves in. As much as we like to rely on local forecasts, they don’t always get it right and you want to be prepared. If you’re training to run a certain distance, map out a route so that you can complete that distance by completing laps.
Wear Layers to Help You Train
As simple as it would be to wear your biggest winter coat and a snowsuit, that might not be such a good idea. While we should focus on being warm we also want to be able to move comfortably. I normally wear three layers on my upper body; an undershirt, a long sleeve shirt, and a thick hoodie. For my legs, I wear knee sleeves for extra comfort, thermals, and thick sweat pants. I also wear thick socks to keep my feet warm. All of this along with your gloves and headwear that will cover your ears should keep you warm throughout your run. Bonus tip: About 20 minutes before you go out, throw your running outfit in the dryer. It will be warm when you put it on so you won’t be as cold when you start. By the time your body temperature rises, your clothes will have cooled down.
I use these tips to help me as I am training for the 2017 Arnold Sports Festival Pump & Run which will take place on Sunday, March 5 in Columbus, Ohio. Temperatures will likely be in the 30’s so these strategies come in handy. Whether you’re training for an event or your own reasons, these tips should help you convert Old Man Winter from an excuse to a training partner.