Even if the days are shorter and the weather has become decidedly hostile for a runner, during the winter season we must try to implement the right strategies in order not to decrease (or worse, suspend) our running sessions.
The alternation of the seasons must encourage us to adapt in the best way to climate changes: for this reason, after providing a good list of tips to start running , we have drawn up a series of indications that can prove to be quite useful for maintaining a good level. training to face the rigors of winter in the best possible way, avoiding illnesses and injuries.
1. Technical and adherent clothing
Today, those who run have at their disposal clothing in synthetic material (polyester, polypropylene, polyamide, etc.) which have improved a lot in recent years and combine a great level of comfort with high water repellency properties, allowing them to remove perspiration from the skin and maintain a remarkable thermal comfort.
An important factor to take into consideration is to choose a garment that remains rather adherent to our body, in order to decrease the amount of air between the skin and the fabric. Absolutely avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat and cools quickly, giving us the unpleasant sensation of running with a wet (and cold) rag on us
2. Do not overdo the clothing
It is cold but try not to consider the current sensations, so as to avoid dressing too much. It is normal to feel cold at the start of the run. After the first few minutes, the heat generated by the body, combined with a technical clothing (see tip 1) will be sufficient. The advice is to dress in layers for the warm-up phase only, undressing as the body temperature rises. This way you will avoid sweating and you will not have an excessive temperature change once undressed.
3. Do a good warm-up
Although cold temperatures naturally lead us to increase the warm-up phase, many runners are a little too hasty and start running when their body temperature is still not optimal. Warm up starting slowly and spend at least 12/15 minutes warming up, especially during the winter season: you will see that training will be easier.
4. Protect your hands and feet
Extremities are a weak point of running in winter, especially the hands. Use winter running gloves (avoid common wool gloves, which let in too much air). There are different thicknesses and invoices. For particularly cold temperatures you can try knobs with inserts where you can insert hand warmers.
Also use winter socks or an additional pair of socks but be careful: they must be firm and snug to avoid blisters and you may need to loosen the lacing of the shoes slightly to increase the fit.
5. Protect your head
More than 30% of the heat is lost through the head. For this reason it can be useful, especially for bald runners, to wear a hat (a common wool cap can also be fine). To protect the forehead and ears, there are specific headbands for running, some of which can be used alternatively to cover the throat, although this should be avoided (we risk sweating unnecessarily and cooling down once the session is over)
6. Consider the direction of the wind
The wind can significantly increase the feeling of cold. It is preferable to have the wind in the opposite direction during the first phase of the race, when we are drier and more rested, while we will have it in favor when we are damp (and probably more tired).
7. Snow yes, ice no
Running on snow, especially if not too high and not very well groomed, can be a fun alternative to the usual workout. Try not to overdo it so as not to incur injuries due to the change of surface. If the day is sunny, adopt the same summer measures to protect the eyes and skin from the sun’s rays.
Instead, avoid running on ice or icy surfaces (especially asphalt). The risk of slipping increases significantly with every slightest change in direction.
It is not worth risking a bad fall or injury.
8. Don’t get wet
Once you’re done running, your body temperature drops quickly, especially if you’re wet and windy. Change immediately in the first few minutes of sleep, when you still do not feel the sensation of cold and organize yourself so that you can quickly put on dry clothes (perhaps the same ones you warmed up with, with a woolen underwear).
9. Choose the best times
If the excursion ends is relevant, there can be a large difference in temperature between the different times of the day. If you have the opportunity, choose to run in the late morning or very early afternoon (but possibly on an empty stomach). In addition to a softer temperature you will have the benefit of running with the light.
10. Don’t be afraid
Don’t be too afraid of running in the cold. Aerobic training raises your immune defenses making you stronger and more resistant to the cold temperatures of winter.
During the run keep a loose and natural step, not numb and contracted, show who is the strongest!