Growing up in Northern Michigan, I’ve logged many miles running outdoors in the winter time. To the many dedicated northern runners, these tips for outdoor winter running are pretty common sense. But for people that are new to running, and are a little skittish about taking to the streets before the snow melts, hopefully these tips will help you get off of the treadmill and outside for your next run!
10 Outdoor Winter Running Reminders
- Take Short Strides–Easily the best way to avoid slipping is to keep your feet underneath your body.
- Dress in Layers–Once you start running, your temperature will start rising. A layered approach allows you remove the right amount of clothing to prevent too much sweating, which isn’t a good thing when it’s really cold.
- Go Chap Stick Crazy–Growing up in Michigan and playing outdoor hockey, I know how bad it sucks to have chapped lips for 4 straight months. If you’re going to run this winter, lather up your lips before, during, and after your runs with a good amount of chap stick.
- Gloves are a Must–Nothing makes being outside more miserable than cold hands. A set of thin gloves is just what the doctor ordered to help keep those fingers from freezing.
- Something Over Your Mouth–Breathing cold air into your lungs can trigger asthma like symptoms, even for runners that don’t have asthma. A scarf, bandana, or other piece of fabric over the nose and mouth can be enough to warm and humidify the air before it hits your lungs and enable you to keep running strong.
- Don’t Forget the Sunscreen–This may seem ridiculous, but how many times have you seen skiers and snowboarders with sunburn on their face after a day on the mountain? With how the sunlight reflects off of the snow, and especially if you’re going to be running on a sunny winter day, sunscreen on your face is a really good idea.
- You Still Need to Hydrate–Being adequately hydrated is important any time of year. Just because it’s cold and you’re not sweating that much, doesn’t mean you’re not losing fluids on your run. Keep drinking yall.
- That Car Might Not Be Able to Stop–If you’re crossing the street, even in the crosswalk, never assume that the car approaching you will be able to stop. Intersections can be especially greasy, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Don’t Overdress–It’s ok to feel cold while you’re outside getting ready to start running. Remember once you start running you’ll be creating additional body heat, so don’t wear any more layers than you have to.
- Always Assume There’s Ice–Even if the sidewalk/pavement looks dry, always assume there will be ice under your foot every time you step down. You’re most likely to slip when you least expect it, so always expect it.
There you have it folks. You can stay inside if you’d prefer, but don’t be afraid to head outside for a run whenever you can!