I am not referring to the song, although, I do love the rendition in Elf with Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel. I am instead referring to running outside when the temperatures are dropping and the precipitation is falling. Like a lot of you out there, I really don’t like to run on the treadmill and will only do it if I absolutely have no other option. So, with winter quickly approaching and my quest to continue with the #RWRunStreak and the FITnatic pledge I took with Fleet Feet West Hartford, I will bundle up and head outside. Truth be told, I am enjoying the colder temperatures and am finding it much easier to run compared to the heat and humidity of summer.
Here are some tips for running in the cold and reasons why you should take your run outside:
1. Dress appropriately. Use the following chart to determine how you should dress. Every body is different so it will be trial and error to find what works for you in certain temperatures but this chart is a good starting point. Layering is key! I believe the chart is from Sparkpeople.com but am not sure because I got it from a member of the #RWRunStreak group.
2. Enjoy the outdoors. Take in the scenery that being outside provides. Whether you run in the city or the country, there is always something interesting to see. Instead of being plugged in to a TV on a treadmill, take your run into the great outdoors. You will probably get more stress relief and enjoyment from taking in nature than anything you would watch on television.
3. According to an article posted in Women’s Running by Leta Shy for Popsugar Fitness, you’ll burn more calories: Not only does being shivering cold burn slightly more calories than being warm, but you’re also more likely to go faster during your workout to generate more heat. Faster pace equals more calories burned, so use frigid temps as motivation to quicken your steps.
4. Combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Going outside even on cloudy days will help your body feel better.
5. Join a running group (Fleet Feet West Hartford has groups for all distances) or sign up for an early spring race. I have already started checking out the Hartford Marathon Foundation for their spring races as well the Holyoke 10k which is held in March. There are many options to keep you motivated through the winter season.
6. If you are on Facebook, I would highly recommend joining an online running group. The support I have received from two groups in particular Marine Corps Marathon & 10k club and #RWRunStreak has been amazing. There is a wealth of information and positive comments in these two groups. The comradery in these groups has been so helpful to me in my running journey.
Let me know if you have any tips or ideas on running outside in the winter months. I would love to hear how you do it in the cold!