Updated: Jan 15
As we head into the new year, things are getting mighty chilly out there. I know there are a bunch of runners still competing in last ditch efforts to get in a race this winter. Most of this year has been sheltered and now that races are returning to in-person events, I see many taking advantage. This is wonderful but for those who are neither used to racing nor training in the cold, things can get a little slippery (pun intended). Whether you are racing or just trying to stay in shape throughout the winter months, changing up your running game for the winter is essential to ensure you get into the spring season without setbacks and/or injury.
Recently, I have been seeing a good number of campaigns and challenges encouraging more people to run throughout the winter. I am all for it but recommend going about it in a smart and prepared fashion. I hope after reading this, you will be more prepared yourselves.
TIP #1: MAKE SURE YOU ARE WARMING UP....LONGER THAN USUAL
The first and probably the most important tip I want to you to take from this post is make sure you are warming up...longer than usual. I know some of you out there forgo a warmup and get right into your workout hoping to save some time. Although this may be something that you can "maybe" get away with in the warmer weather, the wintertime makes it more difficult. Between the dryer air and colder temps, things may get a little more hazardous. I am not talking about the black ice on the ground either.
The cold weather makes your tendons and other tissues stiffer, and as a result can be more prone to strain, tendonitis, and tearing. Therefore, in the winter, it is absolutely paramount to complete a warmup, and please ensure it’s more gradual and extended when compared to the summer months’ warmup. This applies even if you are on a time crunch and can't get in the miles you want to. Overall, this will be better in the long run to stave off injury and help you be better prepared for when competition season approaches.