Winter running – 2014 edition!

Cold weather running…it’s not so bad, eh!!

Well it’s that time of year again for us here in the north – cold weather running season… don’t fret it though, with a little bit of forethought and planning, you can easily embrace the challenge!

“My lungs will freeze” is one of the most common comments we hear, but if you consider all the other aerobic winter activities that people do, why should running be any different. Think of alpine or Nordic skiing as an example, or even snowshoeing. These sports require a similar effort and are often performed in harsh conditions at sub freezing temperatures, and people don’t freeze while doing those activities – do they?

In order to optimize your outdoor winter runs, here are some tips to help make stepping outside more comfortable:

Check the hourly weather forecast in advance, and plan to head out at the warmest part of the day. You’ll find that by 9-9:30am, the sun is out and has begun to warm things up nicely. It’s important to pay particular attention to the wind-chill factor and wind direction, as well as humidity. The higher the humidity, the colder it will feel.

Layer your clothing. This is one of the most important factors to staying safe and warm. Double-walled socks will keep your feet warm, and layering your clothes will create heat pockets in between the layers. Be sure to keep the fabric closest to your body close fitting and sweat-wicking. You can layer over a second shirt and then finish with an outer layer that’s wind-resistant and waterproof. You should do the same for bottoms – layering long pants over fitted shorts, topped with a wind-resistant shell. A fitted glove, layered with a wind-resistant mitt can work well to keep your fingers warm – and don’t forget to protect your face and head using a face mask or scarf to cover your neck and face.

You can apply a sweat-resistant sport moisturizer such as Dermatone for extra protection, and petroleum jelly works great on lips, cheeks and your chin to protect exposed skin.

When first heading out, run ‘into’ the wind. This way, you’ll be able to gauge how cold it is and use the ‘tailwind’ to help you return home at the midway point in your run.

Be sure to shorten your stride in snow and ice. Keep your foot-strikes more in the center of the foot, and don’t over-stride out in front or follow through with a big kick. This will cause a loss in traction and result in a slippery stride. Best to keep the cadence (leg turnover) at a high rate, and stride-length shorter than you would on dry pavement.

Stay hydrated during your winter runs, and be sure to pack a small snack. We tend to burn more calories in the cold temperatures as our muscles are working harder to stay warm, so bring along a small snack (something that won’t freeze) to keep your energy stores up.

Enjoy the view. Winter running brings beautiful lighting and landscapes that are worth taking time to enjoy, so don’t forget to stop once in a while and look around.

Change out of your run clothes as soon as you finish. Your layers will most likely be damp underneath and getting into a dry change of clothes will help you regulate your core temperature and warm up more quickly.

Hopefully these tips will encourage you to head out the door and enjoy some winter running. The fresh air and winter scenery can make for some beautiful runs as your senses will experience a new variety of sights and sounds that we don’t get from spring, summer and fall running.

Remember, swimsuit season is just around the corner, so get out and run with some friends or even a group to stay active throughout the winter months. If you’re lucky, you’ll even take in some good old vitamin D if the sun happens to be out!


We’re back…

Back to Lululemon Run Club… Saturday 9:00a.m. Leaving from the Lulu Fairview store… It’s Free! Come join us for some fun!
“You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.”


winter running tips…

benefits of winter running…

Snow run tip 1: Track your run in minutes, not miles. You will be slower, but you’re still getting a great workout!
Running burns through 270 to 500-plus calories per half-hour session (your personal results will vary based on your body weight, pace and environmental conditions)

Whether you run in the warm or cold doesn’t make a big difference, winter running may have a slight advantage: “You may have to work a little harder to stay warm.”
the gear…

Gearing up for winter running means preparing for the cold, as well as slippery conditions.

Think: comfort and versatility. But for best results“You want to start your run almost uncomfortably cool; you’ll be warm within 10 minutes.”

“Everything should be technical or sport natural fibres like merino wool or silk blended with synthetics”

Base layer: “Wear the closest-fitting, thinnest fabric against your skin and add more garments on top based on your tolerance to the cold,”

Layer two: “Fleeces make great insulator layers but don’t block the wind well”, meaning you’ll most likely need a top layer, unless you choose wind-resistant fleece.

Layer three: A breathable shell or windbreaker. “Your top layer should block the wind and precipitation”

Want to travel light? “If you want to wear as few layers as possible, consider compression garments for your base layer as these tend to keep you quite warm”

Ultimately, be prepared for trial and error. And log the weather conditions and what you wore. After all, you want to remember the perfect combo as well as what to avoid, when. “Ideally, you don’t want to be sweaty on a winter run, nor chilly for more than the first 10 minutes.

• shoes…
Feel free to use the same shoes year-round: most winter runners do. Or consider all-season or winter runners with water-resistant uppers and deeper treads.

Trail-running shoes are also popular. Finally, some runners use strap-on “grippers” with metal coils or spikes to increase traction in tricky conditions.

Pair your shoes with technical socks designed for winter, so you get maximum warmth without ruining the fit of your shoes with bulky, extra-thick socks.

• accessories…
Don’t forget your hat, gloves/mitts and neck gaiter (not scarf). Again, look for technical fabrics that add warmth without bulk, and that effectively wick away sweat.

winter running safety…

• Give drivers a head’s up. “Wear more reflective clothing so you’re visible to drivers”.

• “Run with a buddy,” If you canThis provides extra motivation as well as safety.

• Finally, be prepared for contingencies: “Carry identification and public-transit fare, and let someone know your route and expected time of return”