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The days are shorter, the temperatures lower and your determination to get up for your morning run fades. And trust us, we know that staying in a warm bed is much more tempting than braving a freezing five-mile wind. When done correctly, however, your running routine and fitness level do not have to suffer in the cold, dark winter days. Here experts share their best tips for warming up, resting and tipping in cold weather. (Begin your winter running routine with proper clothing.) Here is your ultimate cold weather gear.)
Warm up with simple dynamic stretches like walking, lunge, body weight, and squats before warming up to meet the outdoors. "It's much easier to leave the door when you're warm," says Jess Underhill, treadmill and founder of Race Pace Wellness. Do not worry if you work up a sweat as long as you start running right away. "They stay warm enough not to get cold," says Underhill.
Jason Fitzgerald, an American track & field certified coach and founder of Strength Running, recommends an 8-minute dynamic warm-up with 1
Adjust your expectations
Do not expect every winter run to be the fastest. "Winter conditions like snow, ice or wind make running slower and more difficult so that light steps in the fall will not be that easy in the winter," says Fitzgerald, who lives in Boulder, CO.
"Try to take the time to focus on the power level instead of staring at the pace of your GPS watch," suggests Underhill. Remember, it may take a while for your body to warm up. "It takes longer for your normal pace to set as your muscles heat up. Once you're warm, the temperature, unlike heat and humidity, should not have much of an impact on the pace, "says Fitzgerald. "It's easier to run fast when it's cool than when it's hot."
Alter Your Stride
Gently run on smooth surfaces by adjusting your gait. "It's easier to run on slippery surfaces as you make shorter, faster steps," says Fitzgerald. "If you land under your body and do not reach for it with your foot," you remain more stable and less likely to fall. "Look for icy spots. "Slow down your pace and try to stay in areas where it's clear that you're running on snow and not on ice," says Underhill, who lives and trains in New York City.
If you're running on ice and snow, consider a slip-on traction device for your running shoes, such as Yaktrax RUN ($ 40, amazon.com) or Kahtoola NANOspikes ($ 50, amazon.com), every step of the way make it safer.
Protect your extremities
If you've ever built a snowman, skied or walked outside, you know your fingers and toes are getting extra cold. Keep your feet dry by investing in a pair of Gore-Tex running shoes made with a waterproof, windproof and breathable liner. Asics, Brooks, New Balance, Saucony, and other brands manufacture a number of these heavy-duty shoes, including the($ 85, Amazon.com) for the Trail and Saucony Ride ISO ($ 120 ) amazon.com) for the road. And do not forget your socks: Avoid no-show styles for a wool-tech pair that covers your ankles and drains sweat. (Also use these 5 secrets to buy your perfect running shoes.)
Cover Your Skin
Winter wind and sun can cause havoc on your skin. Fitzgerald recommends covering your face with Vaseline or BodyGlide to protect the largest organ in your body. Wearing a scarf or mask over the mouth and nose also works and makes breathing easier. Underhill also recommends a product like Aquaphor to protect your lips.
And do not forget the sun, which can be particularly strong in your winter ski vacation at altitude. The harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun that cause skin cancer are still a threat in winter. "Regardless of the season, no matter where they live, runners should wear sunscreen when out in the open!" Says Jessica Hunter-Orange, a doctor and runner who practices dermatology at the London Skin Disorders Clinic in London, Ontario. "Repeat all sunscreen every hour while running." Hunter is proposing a broad-spectrum block with SPF 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays, along with an SPF lip balm. Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense SPF 50+ ($ 38, sephora.com) is a mineral oil based sunscreen. This means that it does not cause breakouts and is not sticky. So you can walk miles without trouble.
Warm Weather Clothing
In general, you should stay warmer outside at a temperature of 10 to 25 degrees, as this takes into account your personal preferences. "Running produces a lot of body heat, so you feel warmer than the outside temperature, especially with the right equipment," says Fitzgerald.
Play with what works best for you. "Write down after your run how you would dress differently at the next run, if any," suggests Underhill. "Use your run log to write down what you've worn for the different weather conditions, and the next time you go out the door, you know exactly how to get dressed."
Layers that you can pull off or zip off while you warm up, and put on cool again, are the key. "It's important to be able to unpack or remove a layer to regulate the temperature during the run as conditions change," says Underhill. In the course of a round trip, head wind, tail wind, sun and shadow can occur, each of which has a different effect on your heat. Choose technical fabrics such as polyester, nylon and wool, which drain moisture from the body. (See also: How many layers should you wear during a winter run?)
Wear two to three layers on the torso. A long-sleeved underwear like Brooks Array Longsleeve ($ 60, amazon.com) or Under Armor ColGear Authentic Mock ($ 50, underarmour.com) goes well with a down vest like the Nike AeroLoft ($ 180, nike.com) Ideally packaged in its own easy-to-carry bag. A windproof jacket is also a must. "Most runners underestimate the wind," says Fitzgerald.
Plan Your Finish
When you stop running, your body temperature drops. This is fine on a hot summer day, but can lead to cold in cold temperatures. "Sweat can freeze if you stop running," says Underhill. Plan your run with a hot shower, changing clothes and hot drinks right away. "You can stretch and foam later," says Underhill. "It's more important to get warm."
Embrace the Cold
Armed with the right gear and attitude, the passage of fresh snow can be magical. "There's nothing easier and nicer than running through a winter wonderland," says Underhill. "It's often a quiet, peaceful meditation." With fewer people meeting on the sidewalk, your favorite path or path is less crowded and you'll feel comfortable knowing that you're getting a step closer to your New Year's goals. "Winter is long and outside is good for the mind," says Underhill. "You will feel like a warrior." (Related: Why is a winter walk the best way to enjoy the trails)
When is it too cold to go outside? "I trained runners in Canada, Alaska and Sweden. With the right winter suspension, you can go through most conditions, "says Fitzgerald. "But if it's less than -20 degrees Fahrenheit, you might want to stay inside." (Connected: 7 workouts that you can do at home while riding a winter storm)