Running in extreme weather conditions is certainly challenging, but it can be done! With the proper preparations and extra safety precautions, you can still enjoy a run in spite of nasty weather! It always pays to be safe when making the decision to run outdoors in any weather condition other than sunny. Please make informed decisions in order to avoid injury or loss of limb or life! Here are my tips for running in extreme weather conditions.
1. Wear the Proper Gear
Running in extreme weather conditions requires the proper gear more than anything. Layers are a good idea, because you can control your body temperature easier. Moisture wicking fabric is always best, no matter the weather, because the sweat flows when you run, even if it’s cold! For rainy and windy days, consider a light windbreaker and a hat to shield your body and face. On hot days, don’t wear layers. You want to avoid overheating!
2. Consider Your Footwear
Footwear will contribute a lot to how well your run goes in any extreme weather. For rainy days, or running in snow and ice, it’s good to invest in shoes with grip soles, or spikes on the bottom. Muddy, icy trails can cause a slip if you skip the correct footwear! You also want to make sure your feet stay warm enough in cold weather, and cool enough in hot weather. So consider the material the shoe is made of, and how insulated or breathable it is.
3. Make Sure You Are Hydrated
No matter what kind of weather you run in, hydration is key to a successful and healthy run. Drink enough water before your run as well as after. You need to replenish lost electrolytes, so having a little orange juice or Gatorade won’t hurt either!
4. Cover Your Ears and Hands
I live pretty far north, so this is a lesson I have learned quickly! When running outside in the cold or rain, one needs to cover their ears and hands! You can risk an ear infection or pneumonia if you leave your ears exposed, plus your body will feel warmer if you pop on an ear warmer or earmuffs! I wear thin gloves when I run in the cold to protect my hands from being chapped.
5. Wear Sunscreen
Running outdoors on a hot summer day can be tempting when you decide to work on your tan! However, you should never leave the house without sunscreen, especially when you plan to be running with your bare skin exposed! You can still get a tan safely if you use sunscreen, and hopefully avoid a nasty burn!
6. Choose the Right Route for Weather Conditions
It’s true that the weather plays a role in which route you should choose. Consider how windy it is, you may want to choose a more sheltered route. If it’s hot, an open route that allows breezes to blow and has smaller hills to climb is more suitable. You also want to avoid hills in the case of rain or ice, to reduce the risk of a fall.
7. Be Smart
It’s important to be smart about running in extreme weather. Always carry an ID card and your medical info, such as blood type and any medicinal allergies on your person when you leave the house for a run! If you are out running, and it starts to thunderstorm, don’t risk a lightening strike! Go indoors. Once you arrive home after running in rain, cold, or extreme heat, take the steps necessary to cool down, warm up, and dry off. You can always invest in a gym membership or a treadmill for your home for days when you don’t want to risk running in extreme weather.
If you’re a devoted runner, chances are you won’t let anything come in between you and your run! But remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s okay to take a day off or cross train if the weather is too extreme to get outdoors! What are your tips for running in extreme weather?