1. Pace yourself. Give your body time to warm up and adapt to cold weather running;
2. Wear appropriate footwear. You want to avoid getting your feet wet as this often results in cold feet. Having said that, merino wool running socks are insulated and will help keep your feet warm even when wet. Make sure the grip, cushioning and support isn't worn out on your current shoes. I am excited to try my new spikecross 3's from Salomon this winter!
3. Stay motivated :) Running with a group or having a running buddy will help keep you accountable. It's harder to stay in bed when you know you have a bunch of friends who will be heading out. Stay positive and remember your winter miles are for a reason... they will pay off big time when the spring weather and race season rolls around;
4. Layer, layer, layer! The trick is to dress like it is approx. 20 degrees warmer than it actually is which will help you avoid overheating and sweating... which translates to wet clothing. The last thing you want in cold weather conditions. Always start with gloves and a hat.
Your “base layer” should fit snugly and wick sweat. (I like to use a light merino layer because merino is insulated, if it does get wet from sweat, it will still keep me warmer than other materials)
A “mid layer” should insulate and keep body heat from escaping.
The “outer layer” should be wind-resistant and/or waterproof in case of rain or snow. The goal here is to have your clothing adapt as you warm up and cool down and to changes in the weather being prepared to layer down and adapt as needed.
5. Remember to fuel and hydrate. Often people think because they don't sweat as much in cold weather that they aren't working as hard and often underestimate their fuel and hydration needs. Not only is this important to maximize the potential within your workout but it aids in recovery. Aim for 8 ounces every 20-30min and a snack or gel every 30-45min as a basic guideline.
6. Post-Run Bliss. You did it! You got out there and braved the cold and you feel fabulous after your run. Now's it time to get out of your wet, cold clothes and celebrate inside with fresh dry, warm layers, a good stretch and don't forget to focus on recovery fuel and hydration as close to the finish of your run as you can.
It's easy to run in spring, summer and fall when it's nice outside and there is ample daylight and sunlight. The winter months will fly by faster if you kick your butt out the door and keep moving. Hope these basic tips will help you tackle mother nature and enjoy your winter training sessions!