Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cold Weather Running

With the temperature projected to go below zero° for the first time this winter it's important to remember to cover certain parts of your body when you are out there running.

Even though you are generating a lot of heat and may feel warm usually the first part to cover would be your ears which have a poor blood supply and could suffer from frost bite if unprotected. Probably the next thing is the finger tips.

As the temperature gets lower it becomes increasingly important to cover exposed skin unless you want it to turn black and fall off!

By about -10° C you will probably want everything covered but your face although you may want to put a little vaseline on your nose and cheeks. By about -20° you will want your face covered too.

Wind chill does not actually affect the temperature but what it does do is to cool surfaces down to the ambient temperature faster. The more wind chill there is, the faster your generated heat will dissipate so it becomes more important to cover up and layer.

You'll be surprised at how little you need to stop frost bite, even a thin layer will provide enough of a micro climate to stop your skin from freezing.

Some other quick winter running tips:
Wear moisture wicking fabrics, you don't want that sweat to freeze.
Illuminate yourself on those dark winter nights.
Watch your footing for ice, take shorter steps or run slower.
Drink lots of water, you actually lose a lot of moisture through your lungs.
Don't drive into wet mud when turning your car around!
Don't get into a game of chicken with a snow plow, you will lose!
If you're running on the road, beware drivers with frosty windshields.

Winter is a great time of year to run, as long as you dress appropriately so don't use it as an excuse to take some time off. Get out there and enjoy it.


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