{Running & Fitness: Tips on Winter Running Part Two}

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Now that I’ve gone over what to wear. I’m going to discuss some tips and techniques for winter running success:

1. Keep your feet as dry as possible – this one is kind of common sense, but the last thing you need is wet toes, so try to avoid any puddles if you can. Do not wear more than one pair of socks because this will only cause friction, and friction = blisters. It can also make your shoe fit too tight which may decrease circulation in the feet, making it susceptible to frost bite. One tactic I use is to place duct tape over the toes of my running shoes to keep the wind and cold out and provide some water resistance. I know.. kinda ghetto, but it works 🙂

2. If you’re going to be serious about running in winter, try a trail shoe – the boy bought me a pair of nice Salomon for hiking on trails, but the grip provides more traction for those icy and snowy paths.

3. Shorten your stride – you will find you will be able to maintain better balance and be quicker to save yourself from a potential fall if you slip on the icy ground. This could also help your training because it will increase your cadence (your stride rate) which will make you lighter on your feet (a good thing).

4. Take longer to warm up – your muscles are going to take longer to warm up in colder temperatures, so make sure you spend some extra time doing dynamic stretches to decrease your chance of injury. I try to do the warmup and stretches indoors right before I head out for my run.

5. Incorporate cross-training – winter running means an increase in the chance of a sprain or injury due to the alteration of your gait from running on uneven or slippery surfaces so try other ways of improving your cardio like cross-country skiing, snowboarding, running indoors on a track.

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6. Run with a friend – I do find my motivation goes down in the winter to go out for a run, so I plan my longer runs with a running partner(s) to get me out the door. It’s also a precautionary measure in cause you slip and end up hurting yourself. If you do head out alone, make sure to carry some extra money for a cab and a cellphone for safety, you never know..

7. Protect your eyes and skin – the glare of the sun on the snow can be just as blinding as in the summer time, so make sure you wear shades on those sunny days and WEAR SUNSCREEN. This is especially important in our dry Calgary winters, yes you can still burn in winter time.

8. Consider doing half of your workout indoors and other half outdoors – if you’re training for a marathon or even a half, it may be a wise idea to split it up to lessen the amount of time you are outside exposed to the cool air. You will still be getting in the distance and training your endurance just the same. Or do your long runs on the track and save your hill runs for outside.

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Hope this helps 🙂 Happy winter running!

Thats me finishing the Policeman’s half marathon earlier this year on a extra chilly morning..

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