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When you live in 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.