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Winter Running 2

Winter running outside can, at times, be tough and even dangerous. It seems to always be dark, snow banks inhibit drivers from seeing you and slush and ice puddles are everywhere. It can also be quite beautiful. There is something special about running outside when it is snowing lightly or just after a heavy snowfall.

Visibility is critical for your safety on the roads. A reflective vest and clothing such as a hat or running tights made with reflective material is essential. When running after dark, a headlamp is a great way for drivers to see you while also helping you to see those ice puddles. If running on country roads with snow banks, stick out your hand and wave when a car comes toward you. It is surprising how unaware drivers can be.

To stay warm but not overdress is a skill gained from experience. Many times you'll notice that within 5 minutes of going outside you might be too warm, so remember to dress in layers. For those extra cold days and nights, consider wearing warm socks made with wool and either a headband or hat; remember you can always take this off but you can't put it on if you don't have one.

There is quite a bit of misconception when it comes to the subject of heat loss via your head. 40%? 80%? The truth is that you only lose about 7% of heat via your head but that's quite a bit particularly when it's very cold.

If you tend to overheat a headband is great, along with a vest and arm warmers until it drops below 30 degrees; at that point consider adding a windbreaker jacket or multiple base layers. Outer layers made of Gortex are a plus to have for those days when the temperature drops into the teens or below or when it's raining with ice and snow.

Staying hydrated and fueled can be challenging on the longer runs if it's really cold. Use insulated water bottles and a fuel belt with reflective material. Cut up your energy bars into smaller chunks, as they will be as hard as a rock. But do remember to keep drinking even though you might not be as inclined as when it's warm Your body does continue to sweat and lose both fluid and sodium.

The bottom line is that winter running can be fun as long as you stay safe and warm!

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