Advice from Fitness Specialist, Kirstin, on cold-weather running.
As a seasoned runner, I’ve had my fair share of training experiences. Everything from hot, humid Kentucky summers to just-above-freezing and raining on race day. Sure, no one particularly enjoys running in these conditions, but sometimes the days you don’t want to run turn out to be the ones you needed the most. To make your runs a little easier this winter, here’s a little advice:
- GEAR: Nothing makes a bigger difference than the right clothes. When it’s cold out it’s easy to grab the closest hoodie or sweatpants but these aren’t typically ideal. Look for lightweight, moisture wicking material like Nike’s “dri-fit,” for example. Clothes that are 100% cotton will soak up all the sweat, weigh you down, and only make you colder. I also run with a light, windbreaker, thin gloves, and something to cover my ears. If you dress in layers, you can always remove items as you warm up!
- CHECK YOUR ROUTES: Even if the temperature is decent, it may still be dangerous to run on icy sidewalks or paths. Drive your favorite route or find a park that's good about plowing before hitting the pavement.
- THE BUDDY SYSTEM: As with any workout, enlisting a partner will make it much more difficult to skip. I think this especially applies when it’s a lot easier to stay under a cozy blanket than run around in the snow. Even if you don’t actually run together, having a set time where you meet up will keep you accountable.
- MAKE A PLAN: Most big half-marathons or other races are in late April or early May, which means to properly train, you have to start mid-January. Having a plan to follow, with weekly mileage assignments, will give you a goal to pursue and a reason to get out there. Even if it’s not a race, plan a day where you’ll test your time for a PR or go a certain distance, anything that gives you something to work toward.
If you’re in the market for a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon training plan, email me for your copy today! And as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your own Fitness Specialist for other fitness questions and advice. We’re here to help!
~Kirstin Henry, MPH, ACSM EP-C
Fitness Specialist at LC Idlewild in Louisville, KY