After months of a hot, humid summer, the crisp autumn air can be ideal running conditions for novice and experienced runners alike. With Turkey Trots, Santa hustles and New Year’s Day races to look forward to, it’s important to stay healthy during training. Continuing to run outside even as the weather dips might be out of your comfort zone, but there are ways to counteract harsh conditions and have fun doing it.
Here’s a helpful guide to prepare you as you set out to run in colder weather:
- Cooler temperatures can cause your muscles to become stiff. If you don’t loosen them up, it could lead to added soreness and even injury. To avoid this, take the extra time and precautions to warm up longer than normal indoors, whether that’s at home, the office or the gym. Taking this extra step will get your blood flowing and increase your body’s temperature to prepare you for being out in the elements.
- Start layering with thin to medium garments. In more extreme temperatures, piling on clothing is even more critical, where multiple layers are needed. Don’t wear cotton, as it retains moisture from sweat that will only make you colder, so dress in clothing that will allow your skin to breathe and that is intended for cold environments.
- For avid runners who don’t take days off even when the coldest and windiest conditions start to arrive, investing in a nice windproof and waterproof jacket is key. There are many suitable jackets on the market, so make sure to purchase one that is easy to move in and, even better, insulated.
- Don’t forget to keep your extremities extra warm with gloves and wicking socks made up of materials such as merino wool. Also, wear a thermal headband or hat to cover your ears and head because this is where we lose the most heat.
- Supportive and comfortable footwear is an essential part of your running routine. During colder weather, it’s also important to wear suitable running shoes that are water resistant. This will help prevent any sleet, rain, snow or slush from getting inside your shoes, reducing the risk of your feet getting cold.
- Chapped lips are very common during colder months. With all that added exposure to the dry, cold air during your runs, you’ll need something to protect them. Use petroleum jelly or lip balm to keep your lips moisturized and to combat cracking. You can also use the petroleum jelly on other parts of your face and body to reduce chapping and windburn.
- Stretching after your run is just as important as warming up before. This will stabilize your body temperature after you finish your run. Consider signing up for a hot yoga class at least once a week to release post-run tension and to get a welcome escape from the chilly air.
- The extra layers may trap in sweat and cause smelly odors. Spray FunkAway on all your cold weather gear and shoes. It’ll ensure all your cold weather essentials stay fresh for the next time you hit the pavement. You’ll also want to get out of wet clothes immediately after a run, and we suggest washing them with the Laundry Detergent Booster along with your everyday detergent.
These are just a few ways to crush those miles this season. Let us know in the comments what your workouts look like as the temperatures fall — from braving the outdoors, hitting the treadmill or cozying up on the couch until it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions!