Cold proof: tips for running in winter

Santiago García provides tips for running on cold days

When a runner goes out for a run in winter, he quickly notices that the total number of people who do physical activity outdoors decreases drastically. Those who love to run are intimidated by low temperatures, particularly the first of each year. Not knowing how to face the cold, many give up what they love most, which is going for a run and coming back with a body full of energy and good humor.

A few helpful tips will keep those same runners from taking a week off when winter comes.

You have to think that the most difficult thing to overcome is the inertia. Every day that you go out for a run in the cold will be easier than the previous one. Keep that in mind when starting physical activity. In winter the days are shorter and that affects the mood of human beings. It is known that physical activity produces endorphins, getting them is a doubly valuable mission in winter. It is about feeling mentally well while not neglecting our physical state.

If it is possible to go for a run during the day and also receive the sun’s rays, then the energy is further enhancedalso remembering that it helps the body to generate vitamin D, among other benefits. As you can see, there are reasons to train in winter, beyond the obvious value of not giving in to a sedentary lifestyle on days when calorie consumption increases and confinement is enhanced.

Dark clothing allows you to better absorb the sun’s rays, so it is ideal to choose dark tones during winter (Getty)

It is not necessary to abandon in winter because everything delivered and achieved in spring, summer and autumn is lost. Come spring, winter-trained runners will have better fitness, higher spirits, and overall higher energy, as well as having cut their teeth in slightly tougher situations. That is why all the advice is valid if you want to go running. The first thing is that you can go out to train, the second is that depending on how low the temperature is, you should work on these tips more or be more strict. Wherever you go, there will always be a runner, no matter what the weather.

It is not an obligation to suffer. Every runner knows how cold he is, and if he doesn’t, he’ll find out in early practice.. Making mistakes creates a less pleasant experience. If for any reason we make a mistake, don’t get discouraged, take note and take more precautions next time.

If the training is door to door, that is to say that we run from the door of the house and finish running when we return to it, then it should be taken into account that all the clothes we wear will always go with us, if we have a place to leave them for the moment, perfect, but also that is something to be known in advance.

You can get dehydrated in winter too, that's why you always have to drink water before, during and after training (Getty)
You can get dehydrated in winter too, that’s why you always have to drink water before, during and after training (Getty)

Getting warm takes longer. It is not necessary to launch into a very intense job without having warmed up correctly. Starting a little warmer and then loosening it up a bit is a good idea. If we have somewhere to leave the heavy coat, then we can jog very lightly and take off our jacket before continuing on. If we arrive at the place in a heated vehicle. Then gently start the warm-up to avoid injury due to cold muscles.

It is not necessary to bundle up too much if the temperature does not become extreme. You don’t have to suffer either. The very cold or those who train in situations of sub-zero temperatures they can wear long leggings, but if the temperatures exceed zero degrees, this is not necessary, each one can choose. Running with tights means that the legs will heat up. If we are going to run several kilometers better to think twice.

Layering up is great advice. If we overdress, we can take off those layers and, eventually, tie them around the waist. A first skin, a t-shirt over it and a windbreaker is an invincible trio. But the key that will make the difference are the gloves and the neck. The body loses a lot of heat through its extremities.

Running during the day and receiving the sun's rays also helps the body to generate vitamin D, among other benefits (Getty)
Running during the day and receiving the sun’s rays also helps the body to generate vitamin D, among other benefits (Getty)

The feet are protected and constantly working, but the hands are not. If we feel hot, the gloves are easy to remove. The collar, on the other hand, can be used not only for the neck, but also for the ears, mouth, and head. A hat or a cap are very useful to cover yourself and not lose so much heat. Within the possible to breathe only through the nose, but breathing through the mouth is unavoidable if the work is intense. When stopping, covering yourself with your neck is very useful.

The long tights and long-sleeved shirts They will come in handy if you have to stay put after training or have to walk back. If we have left the coat nearby, then there is no problem. If we go to and from home, that is, we run out and come back, let’s not waste time on the street or in the park once the activity is over.

If we feel cold, stretching is done indoors, avoid being too warm outdoors. Let’s remember that the body has also sweated, another factor to choose not to wrap up too much. When we stand still if the clothes are not dry-fit, then the cold will take over the body. That is what we must never neglect. The training is over and he goes straight home for a hot shower. If we don’t come back direct, have a change of clothes and a strong coat.

It is common to get distracted at the end if one trains in a group. Well, pay attention, because everything bad they say about the cold has to do with that subsequent cooling.

Runners should not give up in winter because everything delivered and achieved in spring, summer and autumn is lost (Getty)
Runners should not give up in winter because everything delivered and achieved in spring, summer and autumn is lost (Getty)

As for the colors of clothing, that which is dark allows it to absorb the sun’s rays, so it is good advice choose dark clothes during winter. If you go out at night, those clothes must have some surface reflective, something that is not uncommon in sports clothing and footwear. Many calories are burned when training in the cold, so when running a marathon it is ideal not to get too cold before starting. But fluids are also lost. With cold, many do not stop to hydrate and that is another mistake. One can get dehydrated in winter too. Even if they are sips, drinking water is very important. Eating after finishing, if possible hot food, also adds up.

The happiness of not stopping during the winter is priceless. The body will thank you if you act intelligently and take these tips. When spring returns we will be strong, trained and in an excellent state of mind. It must not be forgotten that the constancy It is the best way to achieve goals and never lose your way. To put on the gloves and go out to train.

*Santiago García is a marathon runner, author of the book “Running to live, living to run” and “Running again”. He completed the Six World Marathon Majors twice. On Instagram: @sangarciacorre.

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