Tips for running in the cooler nights and shorter days

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During the winter, running becomes more challenging. The drop in temperature and the winter weather makes logging the miles harder and less enticing with shorter days and cooler temperatures.

While some people may choose to hop on a treadmill, many runners prefer to stay outdoors and find ways to make the experience as comfortable as possible. If you're ready to run those miles in the cold, be sure to follow these tips from Dawn Castell.

Invest in the right footwear

Running shoes supply needed support to conquer the hardness of the road or pavement. While most trainers are built for basic endurance, they do not always work well in frigid temperatures. If you're planning to tread through ice and snow, you deserve something with more traction, stability and dryness. Avoid wearing running shoes with mesh uppers. The dampness is easily absorbed inside, making your feet wet. In addition, look at the sole of the shoe, seeking out a product designed to give you more traction in icy climates. The last thing you want is to slip and fall while out for your daily run.

While you're shopping, pick up some socks that minimize water penetration. Even if your shoes get a bit wet, the extra layer could keep those toes from pruning up.

Consider your clothing

Many runners think bundling up is the perfect solution to keeping the chill at bay; however, your body temperature increases by several degrees when you run. What felt comfortable when you left the house could be too much for the full run. Avoid peeling off layers by dressing in something that leaves you a bit cooler when you leave the house. While the brisque air hits you now, you are likely to feel better in the long haul. Wind stoppers can be a great investment too.

Furthermore, many locations experience less daylight during winter months, so take a small head-torch so you can see the road, and dress in bright or fluorescent attire so drivers can see you coming.

Warm up your body

Get your blood flowing before you hit the cold air by completing warm-up exercises inside. The movement elevates your temperature levels, so the cold may not feel as intense when you step outside. You can run in place, perform stretches, do some yoga or light skipping. These activities increase circulation within the body and could help you acclimate to freezing temperatures.

Skip the coffee as it could dehydrate you; instead, look for healthier options that optimise your energy levels. They could get you started sooner and faster, so you don't feel the cold.

Motivate yourself to get it done

Sometimes you may want to stay in bed or on the sofa. The cold isn't as tempting as that spring weather. Rewards work, though. Offer yourself something for the day if you head out and get that run done. Do you want to splurge on a special dinner? Are you interested in having dessert for the evening? Consider what encourages you, and allow yourself to enjoy the incentive when you are done.

Fight the wind

The wind chill can be worse than the air temperature itself. When the wind hits you in the face, it can sting, making you feel uncomfortable and frustrated. Plan for it, and start downwind or crosswind early. Depending on the effects you may prefer to start with the wind behind you as you warm up more and then turn into the wind later as better core temperature and may actually enjoy the cooling effects!

Cover up those exposed areas as well. Frozen fingers, ears and noses grow irritating. Keep them snug with accessories such as snoods, hats, gloves etc.

Cool down and change quickly

Stretch muscles out when you finish, but don't delay changing. The body doesn't hold that temperature increase for too long; instead, it may quickly feel the chill again. The cold and sweat become uncomfortable and awkward. Shower and change to feel content and restored. Have a change of clothing so you can be dry and comfortable.

When the winter months approach, don't dread heading out for that run. Get a game plan together. Consider how you should dress, what motivates you and best practices for staying warm on the run.