Running safety tips for the snow and cold

Running safety tips for the snow and cold

It's supposed to be colder than that former planet Pluto from now until about June 15th.  If you're a runner, it means you are eventually going to get sick of the treadmill and head out doors.  Before you do that, check out these safety tips from our friends at Athletico, and a guest blog from Laura Gleason one of their experts.   These will keep you warm, safe and running all winter long.

Dashing Through The Snow – Safely
By Laura Gleason

Running in the winter isn’t easy – from snow and slush to black ice, it doesn’t take much for a routine run to turn into a hazardous excursion.

To make the best of this most unforgiving of seasons, it’s important to be prepared to avoid injury and other safety issues. As the co-manager of Athletico’s Endurance Program and a marathoner, I know firsthand how you can continue your routine throughout the winter season without completely moving indoors.

Warm up and cool down inside – Colder weather makes it more difficult for your muscles to warm up on their own, which increases your risk of a pulled muscle. Before starting your workout do a series of warm-up stretches indoors; once outside, start with a slow jog to allow your body to adjust to the temperature. After finishing your run, do a series of gradual cool-down stretches indoors. If for some reason you still pull a muscle, stop by your nearest Athletico facility for a complimentary screening where a licensed physical therapist can get you on the path to recovery.

Dress for the weather – In the cold, layers are your best friend. Keep in mind your body typically feels like it is 10 degrees to 15 degrees warmer when running than the temperature outside. To stay warm and dry without overheating, wear no more than three light layers of wicked clothing, which is designed to pull moisture away from the skin. If the wind chill is below zero, run indoors instead.

Stay safe – During this time of year, daylight is in short supply, which means you will more than likely be running in the dark. If so, it’s important to be visible to motorists and other people. Wear clothing that is reflective or a bright, light color and stick to well-lit areas. Also, carry your cell phone with you on all runs.

Rest if needed – Germs spread like wildfire during this time of year, and it can be tempting to just work through the sickness. The most important thing to do is to listen to your body. If you have a mild cold, chances are you can keep up your routine. However, if you have a fever or feel unusually tired, rest up and return to your routine once you’re fully recovered.

Stay motivated – Running in the winter is a challenge for even the most hardy of runners. It can be tempting to take a break for awhile, but doing so may cause you to lose momentum in your training. To keep with it, find a running buddy or join a local running club or group.

No need to hibernate this winter – with these tips you can stay warm, safe and on-track throughout the season. Now let’s get running!

For more tips and endurance sports news click here to like the Pace of Chicago on Facebook.

Leave a comment