There is nothing special about winter running and this question is of interest only to people who are just starting to run.
The question “how to run in winter” is, frankly, not entirely clear. You can ask young children at any playground. True, they are unlikely to understand what you mean, but they run almost non-stop at any time of year. And in any equipment provided by the sponsoring parents. Accordingly, the answer suggests itself: we run in winter just as we do in summer.
Well, seriously, there are still subtleties. For example, when fresh snow falls on city streets, the risk of injury increases. For example, you could twist your ankle.
After all, pedestrians, because of their two-contact locomotor apparatus, trample the snow rather unevenly, resulting in bumps and holes on sidewalks and paths, and running becomes more like forest trailrunning on tree roots.
But the main problem is, of course, ice and other slippery surfaces. That’s how we came to winter running gear.
Sneakers for running in the winter
Sneakers for running in winter now offer a great many. But I will not advise a specific model, if only because it is impossible to recommend any model of running shoes to everyone. After all, as we know, running shoes are chosen very individually.
If you have a sufficient budget, you can look at the timeless leaders in running equipment: Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno. Chic trail shoes that are suitable for winter running, also makes Salomon. Nike also sometimes has good models.
The difference between winter running shoes and summer ones
Running shoes for winter differ from the summer ones by the fact that the sole has a more pronounced tread pattern, but retains its softness and all kinds of support for the foot. A top sneaker is made of waterproof, but certainly breathable membrane, under which the insulation may be located all suits. Or it may not.
Nevertheless, don’t expect to feel like a fish in water on the ice when you put on winter running shoes. They’re almost as slippery as regular trekking shoes. Maybe a little less. For such cases, you have to look for studded models.
And you can also run in winter in summer sneakers.
Not all amateur runners buy specialized winter sneakers, but simply continue to train in summer ones, depending on the weather conditions, changing socks for warmer or warmer ones.
Of course, it all depends on the sensitivity or habituation of the feet to the cold, but for most runners, running at -15 Celsius in summer sneakers with a mesh, but warm socks, is absolutely no problem.
And ice for them becomes a trifle after buying a set of spikes or false spikes on rubber pads, which are simply stretched on any kind of shoes, turning it into the king of ice.
There are several of these options sold, you can find those overlapping spikes that are the best fit for running. If they are suddenly not available in an equipment store, the Internet can help erase the boundaries and order them from the Celestial Empire.
Perhaps the most important thing in sneakers for winter – the sole, which will not be too tan from low temperatures, and the tread pattern will be able to quickly cleaned from clogging snow, ie it should be quite rare.
Clothes for running in the winter
As for outerwear, it all depends on the pace of running, its duration and your cold tolerance. The only requirement for winter outfit for running is a breathable jacket, which at the same time should have breathable properties.
It would seem that the first thing to consider is membrane fabrics made with Goretex and similar technologies, but that’s not entirely true. Even the best membranes fail under medium loads, not to mention maximum loads.
Special running jackets have heat dissipating areas, usually located on the back. When there is no wind and strong cold, a jacket is not necessary at all, a sports jogging jacket is enough.
There are inexpensive running jackets at Decathlon. What you wear underneath is your personal preference, but you should avoid fabrics such as cotton, which will absorb moisture like a sponge, preventing it from draining from your body and then evaporating.
Here should rule the synthetic, especially specialized thermal underwear, which uses technology that allows the fastest possible transfer of sweat from the body to the upper layers of clothes and output through the membrane.
It is worth noting that quite cheap analogues of clothes for running in the cold season do not always perform their function well. Nevertheless, it is still better than a rubberized raincoat.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can think of great things like wool. This is not the best option for moisture wicking and is not even close to thermal underwear. However, nothing compares to wool in terms of retaining heat in the wet. After all, even when a wool sweater gets completely soaked, it is still able to continue to perform its thermal protection function at 80%.
Not everyone uses knee and ankle warm-ups, but everyone should use a much longer warm-up before the main workout. And it is better to start the warm-up at home, in a warm room, to warm up the joints and muscles before going outdoors. In general, the general rule of thumb for an athlete is that the colder it is, the longer the warm-up is.
The right outfit for winter running
In general, the correct equipment for running in the cold season looks like this:
- Winter running sneakers with thermal socks
- Long-sleeve thermal T-shirt
- Membrane jacket
On top of tights most runners wear shorts. Any kind of shorts up to the knees. Some people do it for aesthetic reasons, but, as a rule, shorts are needed to protect important organs from being blown away by cold northern winds. And this applies to both sexes. Only girls prefer shorter shorts.
There are no temperature recommendations. Again, if only because everyone’s pace is different and so is the duration of the run. A fairly well-known rule is to dress for training as if it were 10-15 degrees warmer outside. Simply if you feel a lack of insulation, put a fleece or polartek under your jacket, thermal underwear on your legs with any non-blowing pants, etc.
When running in extreme cold, to protect the respiratory system and face, be sure to use a baf (tubular sports scarf) or balaclava hat.
For running in winter, protective goggles will be a useful purchase, because a strong wind, combined with snow, hits your eyes quite hard. It is not always comfortable and pleasant. Usually choose glasses with yellow glass (plastic, to be exact), because they increase the contrast of the “picture. Or transparent ones. Plastic lenses in glasses are safer in the event of a fall.
However, these are recommendations for cities like Peter or London. If in your city you see the sun more often, you can use ordinary, anti-sun glasses. The main thing before buying protective goggles for running is to try them on together with the cap in which you are going to train, so that nothing presses anywhere.
Just a few more tips
A couple of other important recommendations. Don’t forget to drink water, even if you don’t think you’re sweating at all, because it can be just an indication that you need to drink it. Water plays an important role in heat exchange, no matter what time of year it is. But do not go overboard with the amount of liquid.
If the finish of the route is planned far from home, bring a backpack with dry and warm clothes, so as not to return wet in the cold. Pay attention to the word “backpack. It really should be small and lightweight, with cross straps across the chest that will hold it tightly in place while you run. You can also throw a thermo bottle of water in it.
If this is your first winter run, you’re likely to come home wetter with sweat than you thought you would before.
Running in winter can be fantastically beautiful and enjoyable. You should not deprive yourself of such pleasure. In addition, the snow provides a great chance for a unique workout if you are preparing for a marathon or a summer trail run. And the cold air is more oxygenated than in summer.
And, after all, how cool it will be to run on the first bare asphalt in the first rays of the spring Sun, sometime in April!