What You Need For A Cold Weather Run When You Can't Get To One Of The West Village Gyms
Wintertime doesn't have to force you onto a treadmill, but you should be adjusting your routine to make the most of a chilly trek outdoors.
If you’re not afraid to face frigid weather, or you don't want to head to one of the west village gyms for boxing classes, running in the winter just means a few extra layers, right? Not so fast. Before you barrel into the cold, you should take into consideration what elements could maximize your time outside. Will Torres, fitness expert and founder of Willspace Personal Training NYC, has a few tricks for gearing up the right way, staying hydrated, and making sure you're safe in unstable conditions.
"The first layer should always be something that wicks away sweat," says Torres. "Followed by a warmer top layer with a 1/4 zipper that protects the neck from cold air, but also allows you to get some air when things really heat up. The next layer should be a winter running jacket, designed to keep you warm while having the functionality to move with your body so you're not restricted. For the lower body, it varies by person. If it's really cold you may want to have a t hin running tight as a base layer followed by a running pant or thicker running tight on top. It just depends how much of the cold you can handle. Next, put on a hat and gloves!"
Torres likes to layer with gear from Tasc Performance. "They have a cotton-bamboo blended material that naturally wicks and regulates body temperature. And since the fabric isn't synthetic, it doesn't retain odor."
Tasc Performance Contour 1/4 Zip Fleece, $58. Tascperformance.com.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
In the winter, there's less light and more chance of snow, sleet, or ice, so you'll need to take these factors into account before you hit the road. "When running in the dark, make sure to get gear that has reflective pieces throughout," suggests Torres. "This'll make you more visible to cars and other runners. It's not very safe to run under snowy conditions because the snow can be slippery, and it's not always the snow that's the danger, it's what's below it—like ice. Make sure to run with some cash and an ID. In case something happens during your run, you want to have the ability to get home."
Brooks Nightlife Hat, $25.
Just because you're not racing in hot, humid conditions, doesn't mean you don't need to fuel your body with fluids. "If you're dehydrated by as little as three percent of your body weight, you can lose as much as 10 percent of your speed and endurance. The most important time to hydrate is before you start your run. For runs over 40 minutes, you should have with you or find a water source sometime mid-way through."
Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Water Bottle, $22. Amphipod.com.
Have Good Breathing Form
You know that painful burning sensation you feel when you're guzzling freezing cold air? You can avoid that! "A common reason for this throat burn is starting the run too fast and not having your breathing under control. It's important to start off slowly and as your body warms and gets used to the cold air, you can pick up the pace. One way to warm the cold air is to breath in through the noise. It'll add a little moisture to the dry air, further avoiding the burn. You also can try running with a ski mask to trap the air and help warm it before it gets to your lungs."
If you don't dig the robber-in-the-night look of a ski mask, try a breathing through a neck warmer or scarf made of a running-appropriate material.
Nike Thermal Neck Warmer, $25. Citysports.com.