How to dress for cold weather running

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Personally, I hate to run in cold weather running, and try to avoid it like the plague. The prospect of slipping on the ice and sailing through the air, landing on the frozen concrete, to injure a joint, a muscle, or whatever haunts me everytime I embark on a run in the cold weather. I have already tripped several times on the ice, making me very circumspect about the frozen concrete when my run starts. The cold weather has its advantages, amplifying sounds over a distance, making runs safer in one way: you can hear the sounds of traffic much better, especially when you are carrying your portable sound system with one. It also gives the surrounding environment a more eerie, yet very serene feeling, also making images stand out much clearer with less visible pollution to obscure an individual’s view.

For the record, I was hurt with a shoulder fracture running through a crash scene that wasn’t apparent, totally cleared and roped off. It wasn’t cold. But even with the seriousness of my injury, the cold affected me more, physically and metaphorically. It slowed me down dramatically, as my instincts kicked in to avoid the dreaded ice, almost making me tippy-toe across the miles of urban sprawl of my running route. Sure, I could have run on trails and such, but there was never apparently enough of them in my area, and I hated running in loops.

Depending on the severity of the cold, I would usually run in very long and more denser shorts; the material offering me some protection against the cold air. One doesn’t necessarily have to be clad in a ski mask, layers of short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts, as well as heavy track pants, underwear, heavy woolen socks, and heavy running shoes. If the cold got to be too much for me, I’d throw on a pair of track pants, so my legs wouldn’t stiffen up in the cold environs. But if it gets too cold, head indoors to your local health club, instead of freezing your joints to stiffness.

Enjoy a nice warm and cosy health club during those absolutely freezing days. They are good to help with your toning, shaping, conditioning and developing, and should be part of a runner’s forte, but never a substitute. In vicious cold, especially during some parts of the winter in the eastern and midwestern parts of North America. Also, on the flipside, when it’s too hot to run. Extremes of weather can pose a serious risk to runners: sometimes it’s better to take it inside.

Cold spells break. Unless you are a die-hard runner and a race is imminent, heading indoors helps a runner to work out harder as he/she is free of the shackles of cold air. If it’s really cold, preventing heat loss from your body is so important to maintain the temp of your run. But also remember that your body is also going to be overheating and being drenched in sweat. Being clad too heavy-and running in the extreme cold- are not necessarily to your advantage. But if you have to run in some cold that’s going to affect you even if your metabolism is accelerated through an intense run, it’s probably best to wear track pants, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and heavier socks. A touque can also be a prized asset for running in cold weather.


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