Sunday, January 5, 2014

Running in the Cold and Maintaining Flexibility


2014 has arrived and it is FREEZING!!!!!!!! One of the downfalls to it being so cold outside is that we often get stiff muscles and joints, avoid warming up and cooling down properly, and when we do choose to go outside in the cold, we are properly prepared.

For any of you brave enough to go outside in these very cold temperatures we are having to get your runs in, I have provided the following tips for running outside just to make sure you are extra careful:

1. Sometimes our long runs can fall on days when it is just too cold to be outside for prolonged periods of times. If this is the case, split up your mileage and do the different sections within 6 to 8 hours of each other. If need be, such as the streets are covered with snow, split your mileage so that parts are done before the streets or sidewalks are covered, and the other section (even if it's a day later) are after the plows have gone through. No race is more important than your safety and the safety of others!

2. Take it to the treadmill. That's a tough one for me to put out there, but again, safety first. Even incorporate this into Tip 1. Run part of your workout outside, the remaining inside.

3. Mix in cross-training. Break up your runs with spinning classes or simply your own bike workouts. This is a great idea for those of us who don't care for running on treadmills, and adding cross-training into your running workouts or race preparations is always a good idea for injury prevention and all-around conditioning.

4. Wear synthetic clothing (NOT COTTON!) and multiple layers, ensuring that outer layer is windproof and ventable.

5. Wear a hood or balaclava.

6. Wear a cold weather shoe to keep your feet warm and dry, and also make sure you have traction, such as by using YakTrax.

7. Wear reflective bright clothing!!

Alright, now for the second part of this entry....flexibility. I've declared 2014 the year I regain my flexibility and the subzero temperatures definitely do not help in this. I have been dedicated to do the Deep Release for the Hips, Hamstrings, and Lower Back video from which I mentioned in the last post, and I cannot stress how much better I feel after only do the video five or six times now. It has increased my performance level immensely, and I had one of the best leg lifting days on Friday than I have had in a long time because how well prepared my legs were. Here's the link again:

Now this website also offers videos geared towards runners pre and post their run. This is key to remember especially when we want to spend less time outside and just get the runs over with because its so cold. DO NOT MISS YOUR WARMUP OR COOLDOWN!!

Here's the Pre-Run (it's about 20 minutes):

Here's the Post-Run (it's about 20 minutes):

Take care yourselves, stay warm, and stay healthy!!


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