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Safety Article

Winter Running Survival Tips

Today's high-tech running fabrics make it easy to enjoy winter running. Here are the things you need to know.
By Benny
Winter Running Survival Tips

1 Dress in layers.
This will allow you to peel off or add layers as the temperature, wind, and other conditions change.

2 Choose a highly-breathable base layer.
This is the layer of material that you wear closest to your skin. It should be made of high-tech polyester that “wicks” sweat away from your body. There are many of these on the market. One of the key goals of coldweather running is to avoid excess sweat build-up (which often occurs if you wear cotton clothing). The problem with sweat is, that it can cause a severe chilling effect if the temperature turns cooler and windier if you slow down or have to walk.

3 Wear an outer layer of breathable, wind-resistant, water-resistant material.
It is very important to wear a windbreaker as your outer layer, since wind is often the biggest contributor to winter coldness. You don’t need a waterproof outer layer, but it is good to have a significant degree of water resistance. Your outer layer should be thin and lightweight.

4 Protect the extremities.
That means your ears and your hands. Mittens are better than gloves for hand protection. That is, they keep the hands warmer. Of course, gloves are a lot more convenient for many things, like dealing with your car keys. Still, in the coldest, windiest weather, choose mittens.

5 Remember to stay well hydrated and well fed.
Many runners overlook the fact that staying well hydrated is just as important in winter as in summer. Because it is cold and dry, you don’t notice that you are sweating. When you head out for a long run, be sure to take sports drink such as E-load.

Benny is the head running coach at Runners Edge. Visit him and the staff at 111 Fourth Ave in St. Catharines.


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