Over the last couple of years, I have resumed an outdoor running program. This has been one the best things I have ever done for myself and I certainly don't want to give it up for the winter. However, with temperatures consistently falling into the single digits (Fahrenheit) and even below zero, there are precautions that I need to take to continue to run outdoors. These are some of the things that I need to be aware of when I continue to run through the cold months. I think it is important to share with anyone else who may be considering running outdoors.
Most importantly, anybody with asthma, heart problems or Raynaud's disease, needs to check with a doctor before running in the snow. These conditions can be exacerbated with the cold temperatures.
Winter runners also need to keep an eye on the forecasts and be ready to modify their activities when the temperature drops to extremes of the wind chill makes it feel excessively cold. Frostbite can develop quickly in extreme cold to exposed skin. Covering hands, feet, and faces are especially important since these areas tend to be most prone to frostbite.
Wearing multiple layers is also recommended. Over dressing can be just as dangerous as under dressing. Over dressing can cause a person to sweat heavily. When combined with cold winds, this sweating can quickly lead to hypothermia or frostbite too.
Hydration is still very important to maintain. Winter running does not mean that a runner will not perspire under all the layers of clothing that they will wear. Maintaining your hydration through drinking enough water remains important throughout the winter season.
Winter also means shorter daylight hours which means more people will be forced run after dark. Make sure you wear reflectiveothing that they will wear. Maintaining your hydration through drinking enough water remains important throughout the winter season.