How to make the most out of a cold weather run

December 10, 2020 4 min read

How to make the most out of a cold weather run

As we approach the end of one of the weirdest years I think any of us will ever experience (March had to be the longest month in history), rapidly dropping temperatures in many parts of the country make it even more difficult to keep up with your daily run. But with few places to go outside of the house due to the ongoing pandemic, that run becomes an even more important part of your routine. Here are some tips to beat the cold and make your run less of a chore and more fun this Winter:

Motivation:

Before you can start your run, you’ve got to motivate yourself to get out the door! One way to do it is to run with a friend (while maintaining social distancing of course!). With so few opportunities to see your friends in person these days, running outside is one of the best and safest ways to hang. Not only does it give you motivation to go on your run, but it also can help you during the run, by having someone there to pace you and distract you from fatigue or cold.  

Another fun solution is to have a “carrot” or a reward waiting for you when you return. My favorite is to have a warm mug of hot chocolate as soon as I get back in the door, but don’t be afraid to get creative! 

Warm Up Before you Go Outside:

Doing a quick warmup in your house or apartment to get your blood flowing and raise your internal body temperature is a great way to cope with the cold. Not only do you feel physically warmer when you first leave the shelter of modern heating, it also helps you prevent soft tissue injury during your run.

Dress Warm (But Not too Warm):

It can seem like a good idea to throw on your warmest and bulkiest hoodie before you step out into winter weather, but this is almost always the wrong choice for a run. Try to focus on clothing that keeps heat in but doesn’t make you too sweaty or overheated. 

Base-layers, in addition to your everyday running gear, are an excellent way to accomplish this feat. Look for ones made with performance moisture-wicking and breathable material, to keep your skin dry as your body temperature rises. Zensah offers baselayer tights and long sleeve compression shirts that are perfect for cold weather wear. There’s a good chance that you’ll be running in a low light situation with the days getting shorter, so bright colors and features like the reflective material on the sleeves of our compression shirt are a must have to make sure you’re visible to drivers.

Protect your Face, Ears, and Hands:

My least favorite part about the winter is when my fingers, toes, ears, and face go numb from the cold. This is especially true during a run, as most of your blood flow goes to the muscles in your legs, giving your extremities the cold shoulder (excuse the pun). 

Warm, but breathable gloves are a must for any cold weather run. Consider ourSmart Running Gloves, with e-touch on the fingers for smartphone use and a microfiber panel for wiping your nose when it gets runny. Also important, this year more than ever, is covering up your mouth and nose from the harsh winds you might encounter. 

Our Ultra Soft Neck Gaiters are ideal for Winter Running, easy to pull up and down and warm without being heavy or bulky. Another great option is to wear a beanie, Skull Cap, or warm headband, to keep the top of your head at a comfortable temperature.

Pick the Proper Footwear:

Picking the right combination of shoes and socks is essential. For shoes, opt for a pair that has minimal mesh, maybe is water resistant if not waterproof, and has a tight grip for slippery roads. As for the socks, try for something warm, dry, breathable, and not too bulky. Two great options are our Wool Running Socks and Grit Running Socks

Our wool socks give that extra cushion and warmth you need without being bulky. They are breathable, and keep your feet dry, will never cause blisters, and have extra cushion in the heel and toe, making them ideal for long runs in the cold. 

If you are used to running in thinner socks but still need warmth, the Grit are an excellent choice. Available in No-ShowQuarter, and Mini-Crew length, they lend themselves well to trail runs and runs in adverse weather conditions, as the tab on the no-show extra height on the quarter and mini-crew give extra protection from the elements. The mini-crews are especially great for wear with tights, as they leave no skin vulnerable to the elements. Like the wool socks, they keep your feet warm, dry, and blister and odor-free, while keeping debris and grime from you shoes and feet. 

Change Right After You Run:

After all your hard work to stay warm and toasty during your cold weather run, it wouldn’t make sense to give yourself a chill once you get back! Plan to end you run somewhere warm, whether it be your front door or a car with good heating. Then, change into dry clothes and get that mug of hot chocolate ready ASAP so you can warm back up in comfort. Try slipping into Zensah’s Recovery Tights post run, to help your muscles recover while you thaw yourself out. 

If you can do all of these things, chances are you’ll have a much more enjoyable run and a much more active Winter!


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