Vermont winters are long and unpredictable; yet running in the elements can be joyful and rewarding for your body and your spirit. Here are 9 tips to help you to stay warm and enjoy it!
1. Wear layers
Dressing in wool or synthetic base layers is essential. These materials will wick the sweat away and keep you warm. I would avoid cotton all together – not even cotton socks! Fleece layers are great and a wind layer on the outside. It can often be the wind that bites! Better too many layers than not enough. You can always remove one.
2. Hat and Gloves
Always wear hat and mittens/gloves. The hat holds the heat in and the gloves keep your digits warm. You can always remove them, but having flexibility is good.
3. Scarf, Neck Warmer, Buff
When it’s really cold and windy, covering the face is helpful to avoid Jack Frost’s nip. You can also apply Vaseline, Dermatone, or any skin protector to exposed skin.
Proper running footwear is critical! Some running shoes have enough traction for the snow however most shoes will not grip on the ice. You can add screws to the bottom of your shoes, invest in Ice Bugs, or other ice equipped add-ons to your footwear.
5. Reflective Vest
We know daylight is a precious Vermont winter commodity. If you’re heading out when daylight can be compromised, wear a reflective vest and headlamp. They make you visible and help you see – a win win!
6. Drink Water
Even in the cold, hydration is important. Stay hydrated with water.
7. Check the Weather
It’s good to know the predicted forecast, so you’re prepared. Everyone has a threshold! If you’re prepared, the chances of increasing your pleasure with outside exercise is increased.
8. Plan a Route
Your typical routes might be impassable in the winter. Plan a route that you know is safe and let someone know where you’re going.
9. Start Toasty
If you want to start warm, throw your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before you start, assuring a toasty beginning.
Author: Joy Grossman, RunVermont