This is the year of the Arctic Vortex and Arctic Blast – sudden cold snaps that have brought snow and freezing temperatures across the U.S. With the right preparation, winter’s frigid weather doesn’t have to mean the end of your running. Here are some tips for staying safe and warm on your run:
- Place Machine Screws In Your Shoes For Better Traction. Designate a pair of your old running shoes to be your bad weather trainers, then screw in three 1/4 inch screws along the right side of the shoe’s outsole (the shoe’s bottom) and three more along the left. The heads of these screws will help you get traction on ice and snow.
- Dress In Layers. Start on top with a skin-tight base layer to draw away sweat, then and a middle layer, which can be a heavier-weight long-sleeve running top, or a fleece pullover, and top off with a wind-proof shell.
- Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm. Use light acrylic stretch gloves, and top with fleece mittens. Similarly, put on a pair of very light-weight socks, then top with another pair.
- Protect Your Face. If the wind is blowing, consider applying petroleum jelly to your cheeks and nose. This will give you a wind-proof layer that will also help keep your face from drying out.
- Feed Your Furnace. This is not the time to cut calories – your body needs food not just for maintenance and to fuel your workout, but to simply keep warm. Don’t gorge, but don’t skimp, either. I learned this lesson myself once when racing a stage race in the Himalayas. After one day’s run, I just couldn’t get warm. I put on just about every piece of clothing that I had with me and crawled inside my sleeping bag, but I was still shivering. Finally, I thought to eat a bag of trail mix that I had with me, even though I didn’t think that I was hungry. I felt almost instantly better.