I’m not much of a runner, mainly because I prefer other forms of cardio, but I know and train many people who are and with winter coming up, safety becomes a priority to avoid unwanted injuries and accidents. Below are several tips to help you keep safe while training, but if you have any more then leave a comment!
- Pick the right clothes!
Avoid cotton. Cotton is a wonderful fabric-for T-shirt, dress shirts, and sheets, NOT for working out! Cotton absorbs moisture, so it becomes heavy and rough when it gets wet. When you choose it as your base layer, it is going to cling to you and be very uncomfortable. Instead, choose moisture-wicking tops as your base layer.
Wear a lightweight, breathable jacket over your base layer on days that the temperature is above freezing. Because they “breathe”, jackets allow the moisture that has been pulled off your skin by the base layer to escape. The breathability also keeps you from over-heating as your body warms up.
Don’t forget your head and hands—wear hats and gloves that will block the wind and keep you warm and dry.
They are called layers for a reason! Take layers off and put them back on as needed.
- Make sure to warm up!
Warming up should be part of any workout routine regardless of the time of year, but in winter it’s especially important. The cold weather means it takes a few extra minutes for the body to warm and if you don’t warm up correctly, you can pull muscles or worse. Take a few extra minutes to get your joints and body loose. Do some dynamic leg stretches, use bands to warm up the glutes so you have full muscle activation when you start running. Trust me…..your older self with thank you for this! Your knees may not crack/hurt right now, but someday they will!
- Plan your route
I appreciate that running the same route, again and again, will get boring, but in winter when visibility is low, it might be better to stick to a route you know is well lit and safe. Winter conditions can be dicey, whether it is snow, ice, or just too cold out and you want to have the option to get back home when conditions get to be too much. You also want to make sure to wear plenty of reflective gear and always run against traffic. If most of your training gear is black then a headlamp will not only light the path but make you visible to traffic and other pedestrians.
- Carry ID and essentials
Having spoken to a few runners, essentials to take out on any run are ID, medical information (if you have any conditions), and a phone. Most people will go out with a phone (to listen to music), but quite a few people won’t go out with any forms of ID or an emergency contact number in case of an accident. You just never know what might happen and the last thing you need is to be stuck somewhere with no form of communication or identification. If you aren’t a form of carrying your phone or ID in your hand, and there are no pockets on your training gear, then a running belt could be a good option. Some running belts are high-vis and come with likes/LEDs for added visibility.
Those are just a few winter running tips to keep you safe, do have any other tips to share? Leave them in a comment below!