Winter Running: Facing the Cold and Darkness

Winter comes with shorter days and colder temperatures, a reality that doesn’t exactly encourage running. It’s a common obstacle, especially for newcomers to this sport. Workouts are confined to the few daylight hours in the early morning or at sunset, immersed in chilly temperatures and limited visibility, elements that significantly influence both motivation and physical adaptation.

Training Amid Cold and Darkness

Running in low-light conditions, especially in city environments on cobblestones or sidewalks, can make the stride uncertain. Cold temperatures affect muscles and posture, making them more contracted. Generally, with lower temperatures, there’s an increased risk of muscle injuries as muscles take longer to warm up. This situation leads to a less stable posture and potentially weaker muscles, especially for beginners who are naturally more prone to physical uncertainties and the risk of injuries.

Importance of Warm-Up

A proper warm-up before each workout is crucial, even for lighter sessions. A gentle but sufficient warm-up in terms of time is fundamental. Starting with a pace so light that allows for active movement, activating foot muscles, warming up tendons, and improving body sensitivity is ideal. Soft terrain like dirt trails or grass enables a gradual warm-up by gently engaging muscles. Stretching should be avoided at the beginning of the workout since passive stretching in the cold increases the risk of muscle injuries. It’s safer to activate and thoroughly warm up muscles before stretching. Personally, I also avoid stretching after running sessions, preferring separate stretching sessions during the week.

Appropriate Attire

Clothing plays a crucial role: keep the muscles warm. Low temperatures can indeed affect muscle warm-up. Wearing suitable and insulating layers is essential, especially during warm-up, to ensure that muscles are well protected and ready for physical activity. Use only technical materials; avoid cotton, I’m sorry. Remember that once you get going, you’ll perceive 10 degrees more, keep that in mind. However, conditions like fog, rain, wind, or snow can make you feel significantly colder.

These tips will help manage winter workouts better, protecting muscles and maintaining the effectiveness of training despite the harsher weather conditions.