Winter Running Tips
Damn – it is that time of year again, Winter. Whether you are running in Canada or Jamaica, the days are shorter and more likely than not you are running when it is dark. In Canada, unfortunately we have the added benefit of running in the snow. Here are my top tips for staying safe on the road when it is cold and dark outside.
I can’t stress this enough. Visibility is of utmost importance. Wear reflective clothing, the more the better. Shirts and shorts with reflective bits as well as shoes. If your clothes don’t have reflective bits then get armbands and a reflective vest. I also, do use and highly recommend running with a headlamp when it is dark. Not only does it help you to see your way but it makes you very visible to traffic.
Once you are all lit up, the next most important thing is to be aware. Drivers, typically, are not looking out for runners so that means you must be always aware of the traffic around you. NO MUSIC – for all you runners out there with headphones in, you are putting yourself at such great risk. It is very difficult to hear traffic around you when you have tunes in your ears.
DO NOT RUN ALONE
Definitely my advice for women, but even for men. I do not recommend running alone. You know, life happens, you could get injured or worse yet, have an encounter with a car. I have known people to get held up while running. Safety first. If all else fails, run with a dog. I have a female friend who would run in the early mornings in Jamaica with her Doberman – no one troubled her!
RUNNING IN THE SNOW
Dress for warmer than you need to. You will warm up quickly and you don’t want to sweat to much and then chill after. You should be slightly cool when you start. Think layers of technical fabrics with the first layer being one that wicks away the sweat and you want zippers at the neck and underarms so that you can vent air as you heat up.
Run into the wind first, if you can. This also helps to keep the chill down.
Wear the right shoes – shoes with Goretex liners, socks that wick moisture away and if you have to , get the spikes that you can put over your shoes if things get icy.
Protect exposed skin, when it gets really cold. I have run in -25 degrees Celsius. Use Vaseline or bodyglide on nose or cheeks, wear a balaclava, googles or glasses.
DON’T STRESS OVER PACE
When you are plowing through thick white stuff, just pat yourself on the back that you are out. Forget the pace, just get the run done safely.
I highly recommend having a change of clothing to decrease or eliminate chill. If there is a group coffee or brunch after, it makes the run a little more worthwhile.