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Prevea Health

Cold Weather Running


When you live in Northeastern Wisconsin, cold weather training is nearly unavoidable unless you choose to train exclusively on a treadmill or indoor track. Getting your running mileage outdoors can be a great break from the boredom of a treadmill; however, you must take precautions if you're going to venture outside.
  • Warm up indoors
    • Light twisting, lunging, arm circles, etc.
    • Spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up your core temperature
  • Dress appropriately
    • First layer – Moisture management material
    • Second layer – Polyester or cotton
    • Third layer – Shell to protect your body from the wind  
    • Gloves, hat and face mask as needed
    • Click here for more details on winter running gear
  • Stay hydrated
    • Drink a minimum of 8 to 12 ounces per hour
    • Even though you don't feel thirsty, this could prevent dehydration
  • Be visible
    • Don't assume cars, trucks and snowplows can see you
    • Bright reflective gear is a must
    • Blinking lights make a runner more visible
  • Be on the defense
    • Sidewalks often are not plowed, so running on the road may be your only option
    • Never assume a vehicle can see you – always stay off to the side of the road
    • Be careful crossing intersections
  • Know the weather
    • Running outside in severe winter conditions can be a health hazard. Running on a treadmill might be a better option if the air temperature reaches 0 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind chill temperature reaches negative 10 degrees.
    • When running with a strong winter wind, start by running into the wind when doing an "out-and back" course. On a very cold and windy day, you want the wind at your back when you turn around. Otherwise, the sweat on your face may freeze.