As the days begin to shorten, the weather also starts to cool. But don’t let cooler weather stop you from getting in an outdoor run. Many runners find this time of year the most ideal time to run because they can run longer thanks to a lack of scorching temps and soaring humidity.
Although cool weather can be ideal for running, you do need to make some changes to what you wear and what you do before and during a run. This will help you stay protected from the elements, will keep you feeling more comfortable and will also make your run more enjoyable.
Here are 7 cool weather running tips:
Warm up sufficiently. When temps are cool, give yourself some extra time to warm up. This will keep your muscles from feeling tight and will help prevent injury.
Dress like it’s warmer. It’s okay to feel slightly cool when you start running. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than it is. This way, you won’t quickly overheat once you get going.
Wear layers. Instead of getting stuck with one layer that makes you feel too hot when your body heats up, wear thin layers made from tech fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. When dressing in layers, you can open zippers or even remove a layer if you get too hot.
Cover your hands and feet. The majority of your body heat escapes from your head so one of the best ways to hold that heat in is to wear a hat. Keeping your hands covered will also make you feel more comfortable and will protect from frostbite.
Avoid the wind. Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back so the wind doesn’t chill you once you’ve broken a sweat. Wear an outer shell to cut down on wind and protect you from any precipitation you may encounter when you run.
Hydrate. Just because it’s cool out doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need to be adequately hydrated. You may not need to drink quite as much as if it were stifling hot out, but you still need to drink before, during and after your run to avoid dehydration and maintain performance.
Be visible. Cooler weather also coincides with less daylight. So if you plan to run as the sun goes down or even after dark, make sure you’re clearly visible to motorists and pedestrians alike. Wear bright-colored and reflective clothing. Consider also wearing lighted armbands or a headlight or carry a flashlight.