Proper warm up techniques for cold weather running

Living in the Northeast I have found that there are only a select group of runners who continue their training outside during the winter months. The truth is winter can actually be a very enjoyable time of year to run, but it is essential that you prepare for the elements to avoid injury. The first thing that you should address is hydration. Although the temps outside may be lower and you may sweat less it is still imperative that you keep yourself properly hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will ensure that you maintain optimal metabolic function. Think about your warm up and take care of it before you head out into the cold winter air. Use a treadmill, stationary bike or do some stair sets before you dress to go outside. The warm up indoors will prepare your body for the coming workout before you have to adapt to the drastic change in your environmental temperature. Proper hydration and an indoor warm up will prepare your body for the workout ahead, however it is equally important to think about attire. Being dress appropriately for the cold weather means the difference between a comfortable, enjoyable running experience and a miserable one. The following list will give you an understanding of proper clothing for winter running…

  • If it is snowy/icy always wear shoes with either a heavy tread or a removable tread
  • Always dress in layers of clothing made from a wicking fabric (this will help keep you dry and warm)
  • In cold/dry air wear a scarf or mask to avoid breathing air which could potentially hurt your lungs

In addition to dressing appropriately be mindful of the weather. If the streets are covered with ice and the sidewalks are snow-covered opt to train inside. It’s not worth risking the fall that could potentially put you out of commission for an extended period of time.


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