Tag Archives: safety tips

Running in the Cold? Be Prepared

It’s winter.  Training doesn’t stop just because it’s cold or snowy out and neither should you.  Running in the cold is just fine as long as you’re prepared for it.  With the scientifically perfect running temperature somewhere between 50 and 55 degrees, running when it’s 25 outside can present a few challenges.  Here are five tips to help you succeed with your cold weather training.

Plan.  Give yourself time to get moving indoors and figure out which way the wind is blowing.  It won’t feel quite so chilly out there if your blood is pumping.  You’ll also want to finish your run with the wind, rather than against it.  This will prevent your sweaty body from getting blasted by cold air and help you finish strong.running in the cold

Layer up.  You’ll figure out what works best for you as you gain experience but if temperatures are below freezing, layers should be at least two deep on the bottom and two or three thick on the top.  I like to be warm.  My below freezing gear includes stockings, long tights, wool socks, tank, thin layer and a fleece lined half zip.  Make sure your outermost layer is bright and remember that you can always take something off should you become too warm.

Protect your small parts.  Even if there isn’t snow on the ground, you’ll want to protect your feet from the elements.  Wear shoes with the least amount of mesh possible and try pairing them with wool socks.  Keep hands and ears safe by always sporting earmuffs or a warmer and gloves or mittens.  Running in the cold can look cool!

Stay hydrated.  Even if you’re not dripping sweat, running in the cold burns through fluids as your body works overtime to keep your core temperature and muscles warm enough to perform.  Your body doesn’t send the same thirst signals to your brain in the cold, making a good hydration plan a key part of running in the cold.

Expect to slow down.  Your body works overtime trying to stay warm but muscle contractions just don’t happen with the same power as when it’s 50 degrees.  There are a slew of other reasons running in the cold isn’t the same as on those perfect days, too.  If there’s snow on the ground, expect to slow down even more as you pick your way through snow drifts and potential icy areas.

Use these tips for running in the cold to stay safe and warm this winter.

Coach Meredith

Running Safety

As the summer heats up, people are more likely to run when they can find some shade and temperatures are cooler.  The problem with these hours, early in the morning or late in the evening, is they tend to be dark and shadowy.  Darkness and odd hours make running at these times especially dangerous, and even if the sun’s out, there are plenty of other risk factors out there.  One big factor in being prepared for any type of attack or harassment during your run is knowing that even though it’s sunny, you aren’t invincible.  Attackers strike at any time of the day, from early morning to late at night and every hour in between.  Here are seven tips to make sure you have a great run and get home safely.

Have a buddy.  The hands down best way to be safe on a run is to run with a friend.  Two people are harder to attack than one, just like four eyes are better than two.  If you don’t have a friend available for your run, bring your dog.  More alert to danger, your canine can sense it before you do.  Of course, your running buddy needs to be bigger than a microwave and capable of helping defend you.

Carry an ID.  While this may seem simple, most people forget to grab a form of identification because they aren’t bringing along their entire wallet.  You can even write your name and phone number inside your shoe, or use a small luggage tag strung through your laces.

Don’t wear headphones.  This, too, may seem simple.  If music is what you’re paying attention to while sweating out a tough day, you’re less likely to hear an approaching attacker, bicyclist or car.  The tunes distract and slow your reaction time, both of which can spell trouble.

Carry a phone.  Most phones have straps or cases that wrap around your arm, and some are slim enough to slide into a shorts pocket.  Many people use their phones to track their distance and time, but should stick to using it for these purposes only.

Vary your route.  Pretend you have a crazy ex.  They know exactly where to find you, especially if you announce on Facebook or Twitter that you’re heading out, and aren’t afraid to show up.  Stalkers and attackers work the same way.  They stake out routes, and on familiar ones, we tend to space out.  Dealing with new terrain helps keep us alert and more aware of our surroundings, which makes us less of a target.

Run against traffic.  Seeing oncoming traffic makes you much less likely to be hit by a vehicle.

Gear up.  Purchase and use reflector tape, vests or shirts.  Even the blinking lights usually associated with cyclists work, and stay off the roads altogether when it’s dark out.

Now you’re all ready to head for a great run and get home just the way you left it.  Need help finding a running buddy or a new route?  Ask us!  Info@FitNicePT.com