You'll never regret spending time outside
Stay healthy and boost your wellbeing by spending time outdoors this winter. Running outside is a great way to sharpen your mental and physical health, build grit, and upturn happiness. So far, so good – but let’s be honest, icy roads and sidewalks, dark evenings and early mornings make it hard to find the motivation to go outside for a run. So how do you resist the urge to hibernate and binge-watch until spring? With the right gear you can make it through! Being equipped with the proper winter running accessories will help bring back the joy of running outside. Check out our tips for winter running.
Fresh air is good for your brain
Regular exposure to CO2 indoors (for example in office buildings) is associated with negative consequences for cognitive function. What does that mean? Well, that fresh air is good for your brain! And any sunlight that you can soak up, especially during winter, will boost your mental health. First, your breath will feel heavy, but then, you’ll feel endorphins being released for that “runner’s high”. Afterwards, you’ll feel relaxed and joyful. Running has the brilliant ability to produce anti-depressive effects.
Layering is key
Here is the advice from our #TeamNathan Athletes: The first thing you should get is a pair of thin gloves to wear, because fingers often get cold first. Choose a wind jacket that is insulated in the front and breathable in the back. Smart runners know to dress in layers! A thin jacket can be tied around your waist easily or stored in a Nathan waist pack if you find yourself too warm. Pro-Tip: Wear a compression base layer underneath that will wick sweat away from your skin. Check out the compression tights and shirts from our friends at McDavid if you are unsure about the right product.
During your winter run, you will lose the most heat at your head. Beanies for runners are important to avoid catching a cold during a winter run. Check out the Beanies of the NATHAN HyperNight collection, they are lightweight, stretchable and keep you warm. Plus, the beanies feature reflective graphic detailing for visibility in low-light conditions. For longer hair, the Ponytail Beanie comes with a ponytail pass through for more comfort.
The right socks and facemasks for runners
You may have thought to wear long tights and warm under layers, but what about your ankles, neck, and face? Wear knee-high compression socks like McDavid Running Compression Socks to protect your feet, ankles, and calves. Nowadays, you should wear a facemask to protect you and others from the spread of the virus. But a facemask can also keep you warm during a winter run. Check out the Sport Face Mask from McDavid. It’s breathable, features three protection layers and straps around your head instead of around your ears.
Stay visible and safe
If you’re running when it’s dark out, as is often the case during the winter when there’s less natural light, then make sure you’re using reflective clothing and lighting gear (head light, chest light or flash lights). For car drivers it’s easy to miss a runner on the road when he/she is hardly visible. To avoid accidents, dress in light, bright, and/or reflective clothing and wear reflective running vest. A colourful hydration pack with reflective items might help to make you even more visible, too.
A headlamp often isn’t enough to see and be seen. We advice to also wear LED blinky lights for increased visibility. The NATHAN HyperBrite Strobe Lights come in a 2-pack that can be clipped anywhere on your clothes or gear securely. We recommend white light on the front and red on the back, to form a dynamic duo for added nighttime visibility. Think about adding reflective Run Laces to your shoes, that’s a simple trick for more visibility.
Don’t forget to think about your personal safety when running alone in the dark during winter. If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, act to protect yourself. This may include pulling the NATHAN SaferRun Ripcord Siren Personal Alarm. This tiny siren can alert others in case of an incident. A quick pull of the rip cord triggers a 120 dB alarm alerting passers-by and discouraging potential assailants. The sound is audible from over 180 meters and as loud as an ambulance siren. Read more about Running Safe on our blog “Safety Tips For Running Alone”.
Don't forget to hydrate
Running in the winter might mean that there’s no visible sweating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated. Take water or tea with you to drink and stay warm during breaks. The Nathan hydration packs Vapor Krar 12 L (for men) and Vapor Howe 12L (for women) are equipped with an insulated bladder. This 1.6L insulated hydration bladder is designed with an hourglass shape to reduce sloshing. The insulated bladder keeps fluids cooler or warmer 38% longer than non-insulated flasks.
It’s just as important to stay properly hydrated whatever the weather is like but in winter when it’s cold we don’t have the same psychological and physiological triggers telling us to drink. In cold, dry weather sweat evaporates quickly and so we might not notice how much we are sweating and because we don’t feel hot there is less urge to drink. Some scientific studies have also shown that phenomenon in cold weather as the body decreases blood supply to its periphery, the urge to drink is reduced.
In cold, dry conditions the air that is breathed in gets warmed up and humidified during respiration so every breath out robs the body of a tiny bit of water. This all adds up on long runs, especially when you’re breathing hard. So Don’t. Forget. To. Stay. Hydrated!