It’s that time of year when we find ourselves reflecting on the past 365 days and having high hopes for approaching January with a fresh perspective. However, it’s important that we set realistic goals as we fill our 2019 planner with a list of resolutions for the upcoming year. According to the Huffington Post, only 8% of people follow through with their New Year's resolutions each year. Additionally, exercising, staying fit and being healthier remain on the top of everyone’s list year-after-year. This year, 37% of people reported that their top resolution was to exercise more. While it can be hard to motivate yourself to step out the door to run in the early morning darkness, sometimes in below freezing temperatures, it helps immensely when you know you’re equipped to be comfortable, prepared and safe once you get going. We’ve rounded up our list for how to brace the cold and make sure you’re not falling in the 92nd percentile, by helping you keep your resolution this year!
We hope these quick tips help to motivate you and inspire you to hit the snowy pavement this year, regardless of what your thermometer says! Happy trails :)
- Be seen! With the days being so short, it is important to remember that, above all, your safety comes first when hitting the trail or pavement. Be sure to have your safety gear with you whenever you’re out at dark, which includes a headlamp and reflective clothing. Most clothing brands now offer running apparel, especially in their winter collections, with reflective accents and in neon colorways. The reflective accents are often placed in strategic locations on the apparel, to help identify runners as moving objects and not as a stationary street sign. Don’t assume you can be seen - make it obvious! Another great piece of gear that we’d recommend is a lightweight headlamp. Petzl recently came out with their BINDI headlamp, which has 200 lumens and only weighs 35 grams. With something as small as this, you can easily carry it in your legging pocket if you head out before dark and then you have it with you just in case you run out of daylight.
- Proper layering: Proper layering insures that you don’t sweat excessively, which can lead to both dehydration and getting cold. A few layering tips from some of our veteran winter running ambassadors:
- Vests and long sleeves provide essential layering options so that you can adjust your attire accordingly as you warm up throughout your run.
- Finding a properly fitting, warm, and comfortable pair of tights is key to uninterrupted and productive winter running. (Very few things are more annoying than having to pull up your tights every two minutes.)
- A buff or balaclava is a must-have and multifunctional piece of winter wear. It is the perfect layer because it is so versatile. You can use it to cover your neck, pull it up over your mouth on days it hurts to breath in the cold air, wicks away sweat and can keep your head and ears warm if you wear it has a hat or headband.
- Gloves and/or mittens are a staple because when you’re cold, your blood is shunted from your extremities to your core, making it imperative that you keep your hands extra insulated.
- Warm and wicking socks are a no-brainer because if your feet are cold, you will be cold. We suggest our Blister Resist style to keep you feet warm and dry during the cold and wet months. These mid-weight socks have extra padding in the toe and heel to keep everything nice and cozy, especially since most running shoes have a mesh upper that lets all the cold in. Blister Resists have a ribbed top to keep out dirt and grime while adding additional security and comfort thanks to an enhanced elastic grip construction. They feature Mohair wool and Drynamix yarns to keep your feet warm while also wicking away sweat, leaving your feet blister-free, even on long runs in sloppy ice and snow.
- Stay Hydrated: As an athlete, we know that staying hydrated is key, however, did you know that it’s even more important during the winter months? In the winter, it’s easier to become dehydrated because of the drier and colder weather, which often times leads you to not feel thirsty, causing you to drink less. Additionally, as we’ve probably all experienced, the winter months often bring more illnesses, such as the cold or flu. When you drink enough water, you can actually help fight off these illnesses by giving your body the fluids it needs so that you can train all year long. A good way to make sure you stay hydrated is to carry an insulated handheld water bottle, which will ensure your water doesn’t freeze mid-run.
- Find a Buddy: This last point comes down to motivation. Running with a friend gives you an extra layer of commitment for those days you feel like you really cannot get out of bed. Finding a good running partner (or run group!) takes some thought, however. Make sure you pick someone with the right personality to help you achieve your goals. You want someone who you can rely on, not someone who makes the task harder. Next, define your goals with your partner - make sure you understand what fitness level you’re both at so that you find a balance between pushing yourself and not over training or injuring yourself.