Winter Running Tips from a Year-Round Runner
It’s 42 degrees and pouring rain; this is my absolute least favorite running weather. Unfortunately, for coastal Washingtonians, we experience this type of weather frequently during the winter months. We should not let the weather prevent us from going out for a run. Here are my tips for more comfortable winter running.
As a general rule, dress for your run so that the first ten minutes are slightly uncomfortable until your body warms up to a maintainable temperature. Since this may take some individual experimentation, dress in layers with a shell on top. A rain jacket is useful to trap in body heat, even if it is not raining. Fleece-lined gear is perfect for when the temperature drops. When running in snow or ice, I recommend using Yaktrax or trail shoes, anything to provide more tread. My most used winter running accessories are a running vest, a buff, gloves, and a hat. A dry-fit brimmed running hat is a smart investment.
Before every winter run, I check The Weather Channel app. I check the current temperature, the predicted temperature at the end of my run, and the time the sun will rise or set. Ensure any electronics you bring with you are waterproof or store them in a reusable waterproof bag to prevent water damage. If you run in the dark, wear reflective clothing or lights for safety. For a battery-powered running headlamp, anything between 350-1000 lumens should be sufficient.
After your run, change out of wet clothing as soon as you can. If you cannot take a warm shower right after exercising, the next best thing is to change into dry socks and shoes. When driving somewhere to run, I usually like to bring a large towel. Use it to wipe off sweat that can dry on your skin and actually make you feel colder or sit on it in the car for the ride home.
Finding motivation can be the most challenging part of winter running. When I run in the dark, I try to plan out courses with fun holiday decorations (during the holiday season), on well-lit streets, or by the Central Park soccer fields when the stadium lights are on. Meeting with a friend or training for a specific goal can help you stay accountable and hit the streets instead of staying in the house.
Photo: Larissa runs by Blakely Hall for a winter run wearing a versatile running buff that can be used as a mask, neck warmer, ear warmer, or headband. Photo provided by Larissa Kolasinski.
Larissa Kolasinski is a Manchester Court resident.