Over the last two weeks, Southern Alberta has experienced temperatures that were well below zero. While the thermostat has even dropped below -20 at times, the cold temperatures should not dissuade a hardy runner from venturing out to enjoy the (very) fresh air while also enjoying their favourite activity. To those runners who may not have tried winter running, taking the first few steps out of a cozy home can be quite the challenge but it isn't impossible and can actually be quite enjoyable!
Here are some suggestions to help push you out the door and start enjoying another "winter" sport:
- Dress as if you are about to go for a walk in temperatures that are 10 degrees warmer. You want to dress warm but not too warm. If you are warm first thing in your run you will be too warm later.
- Layer your clothing. The layer closest to the body should be tighter fitting and wick moisture away from the body. An insulating layer is next and provides additional warmth with the outermost layer on top to provide wind protection. Additional insulating layers can be added as temperatures drop.
- Run during the brightest and warmest part of the day. Running during the day will ensure you get as much heat as possible from the sun and keep you a little warmer.
- If you are running in the dark make sure that you are visible to vehicles. Bright clothing with reflective panels will make it easier for others to spot you. Flashing lights attached to clothing will also help you to stand out in the dark.
- Wear trail shoes or a traction aid like Yaktrax to improve your footing on ice and snow covered surfaces. When compared with road shoes, trail shoes have additional protection from the elements to keep your feet warmer. Look for trail shoes with Gortex to provide extra warmth and protection from water.
- On a windy day, plan to run into the wind early on and have the wind at your back in the later portion of your route. This will ensure you are doing the cooler portion of your run before you have started to sweat and help to keep you warmer.
- Plan to run with a group. Knowing you are meeting others will help provide the extra motivation needed to get out the door and make your workouts safe and social.