Running in the Cold

Posted by Stuart Morrison on

It's important to stay warm and safe when running. Although some runners love running in the cold, embracing the crisp air and snow on the ground, it is important to insulate yourself against excessive heat loss.  Even those runners who relish the winter will seek to keep warm when the mercury falls too low.

So, what's the best way to keep warm? Here are a few suggestions that we think will be helpful :

1. Leggings
Some days shorts won't be enough. Bare legs lose a lot of heat, so it pays to cover them and keep them warm. Skin-hugging or loose-fitting leggings will do the job, preventing the wind from getting to your legs and keeping the heat where you need it. If necessary, wear 2 layers - loose-fitting leggings over a tight-fitting pair. Alternatively consider lined tracksuit bottoms.

2. Long sleeves
Covering your arms will have a notable warming effect. If it's particulalry cold, wear a second layer.

How you 'layer-up' will almost always be a personal decision, influenced by comfort and the extent to which you 'heat up' while running. However, there are some who suggest wearing a skin-hugging base layer with a looser layer on top. If its snowing or raining, wear a water-proof outer layer.

3. Gloves
A pair of good quality gloves will keep your hands warm. Make sure they are thick enough to provide warmth. However, consider how much your hands warm during running. Having gloves that are too thick can be equally uncomfortable.

4. Head and neck warmers
Keeping the head area warm will make quite a difference. Exposed ears and neck will lose a lot of heat. And, unsurprisingly, those of us who are no longer blessed with a full head of hair will suffer more in the cold.

A good quality head band will protect the ears. Cover your ears as much as possible, including your lobes. A good quality, lightweight scarf is probably the best way to keep your neck warm. And a beanie hat will go a long way to keeping the scalp warm.

5. Watch out for ice
Make sure you can see the ground you run on. Try to run during the day. However, if you have to run in the evening or at night, try to find somewhere with good lighting.