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+26

Running in the Cold

Running in the Cold

Stew Smith, CSCS

Usually, after 8-9 months of challenging running and calisthenics based workouts (see Solstice Plan), I am ready for a few months of non-impact aerobics of indoor swimming and biking for cardiovascular workout options. However, this year, I have tested out some gear during the 30 degrees days of the past month and feel like pushing it a little during the winter months. During the Holiday seasons of festive foods, endless football, and huge meals even the most avid exerciser can pick up a few pounds. Here are some tips to continue pushing yourself through the winter “hibernation” days.

Pace Yourself

Build up to exercising in the cold temperatures. It is more difficult to do any cardiovascular activity when you are used to 60-70 degrees one day and try to run or walk in 20-30 degrees the next. So, over the course of 4-6 weeks, do workouts outside as the weather changes. For instance, starting in October / November you were probably seeing colder weather of 40-50 degrees depending on your location. By December / January, if you continued to exercise outside, you might have gotten used to 30-40 degree weather. As with anything, pace yourself and do not expect to go from 70 degrees one day and enjoy a 30 degree workout the next. It is always colder in the Am / Pm so try to get some cardio at the “heat” of the day in the early afternoon if it fits your schedule.

Shoes

If you are going to run year round. You need a good pair of shoes. In fact you should be on your 3-4th pair of shoes in 12 months of running regularly. I have found a winter running shoe made by UK Gear (www.ukgear.com) called PT-03. When I received these in the mail, I was shocked that a pair of shoes could be inside a box that is so light. These are built for injury prone runners with decades of research on British Military members. In fact, I am not even wearing my orthodic inserts as they are designed to help a variety of overuse injuries caused by over-pronation or supination for example. I found a large variety on NavySEALs.com at good prices and free shipping. ALSO – did I mention the winter running shoe is also water proof! That helped sell me on getting them as there is nothing worse than starting out a cold run with cold / wet feet.

Hands and Head

You have to keep both your hands and head warm if you want to stay warm. On Ibex Wear (Ibexwear.com) I found some great gloves as well as a hood to wear to cover my head and face if needed. Another option for those who have a tough time breathing in the cold is to try a mask using BreathXchange technology. I have not tried these but a few of my running buddies swear by them for being able to better handle the cold air in / out nose / mouth / throat.

Other Cold Weather Tips

If you choose to workout outdoors in below freezing weather, be careful with ice and snow if walking fast or running. Pay attention to wind chill warnings and double check to have no exposed skin. Too many injuries occur just from carelessness in the ice and snow. Lastly, know when to go indoors and warm up. Avoid numbness in hands and feet, slurred speech, uncontrollable shaking or shivering. This could be the start of frostbite or hypothermia which is deadly if not observed properly.

Stay Safe and Stay Fit During the Cold. Good luck and feel free to email me.


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    SupraSneaker

    almost 4 years ago

    32 Comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SupraSneaker

    almost 4 years ago

    32 Comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    SupraSneaker

    almost 4 years ago

    32 Comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    1patti

    over 5 years ago

    252 Comments

    Great advice to know when it is cold out and the weather does change.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    Treadmills are perfect for winter. They're just boring as hell. Ipods are great for breaking up the bordom. I download talk radio for my runs and motivational music for weight training. By the time Spring rolls around I'm ready for some trail running. I hate winter.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    1patti

    over 5 years ago

    252 Comments

    I have not been out side to exercise any since it has been cold. I do some exercises in my condo. Only not very many. Due to getting out of breath. I see that boundling up has a lot to do with out side exercises. It has made me change my mind!

  • Matman1_max50

    matman

    over 5 years ago

    20 Comments

    Great info. I enjoy your articles

  • Img_0130_max50

    abruno74

    over 5 years ago

    1042 Comments

    I go run 3 times a week at 05.30 in the morning in farm land and 3 times a week iron workouts!
    Good health mean good LIFE!!! Take care!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    davidmarshal_74

    over 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    This is a perfect piece Smith,I learnt something new today,keep it up.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    1patti

    over 5 years ago

    252 Comments

    Training , running and walking in this weather is not the best. Aperson will still get sick with a cold, sore throat and runny nose. Even though we must still exercise to the benifit of our own health. I choose to stay in side while running in place and exercising. I walk all that I can there in side. I walk out side when the weather premits. I can not stand the 20 degree weather. Too cold for me. Cold weather is great for my lungs and breathing. Not the body.

  • Dsc_8359_max50

    LivTooley

    over 5 years ago

    400 Comments

    Awesome tips! Having been raised in California, I literally shuddered at the idea of exercising outdoors when the weather dropped below fifty. Since our boot camp instructors (at the gym) conduct most classes outdoors if the temperature is above 20 degrees, I had to learn to suck it up (cold air and all). Now, I actually look forward to it, especially since so many bodies indoors heat things up way to much. Thanks to my beloved's thoughtfulness, I am safe on ice with yak tracks and have some warm wick away shirts to help me stay warm, but not too warm when exercising outdoors. Now, I shall visit the site mentioned for the face mask. Thanks again for the excellent post.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    KenFord

    over 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Hey Stew:

    Remind your readers to NOT run on concrete. Running on "blacktop", dirt or even small gravel/cinders is preferable to running on concrete; that is terrible for knees and ankles.

    Advice From a 43 Year (Consistently - 10 miles a Day) Runner,

    Ken Ford

  • Klausy_max50

    jnakayama

    almost 6 years ago

    18 Comments

    Good advice.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 6 years ago

    Good Info........

  • Images_max50

    OFFICER_K_CPD

    almost 6 years ago

    2296 Comments

    Cool.

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