It was unseasonably warm last week and the last few days in my neck of the woods. But don't let Mother Nature fool you. The cold weather is right around the corner. There is no reason why you can't keep running outside in the cold, as long as you are prepared.
Here are some tips on how to run in the cold:
1. Finding the right amount of clothing takes trial and error. Everyone has different hot spots and cold spots. You don't want to be drenched in sweat, but you also don't want to be too cold. You have to find the right balance. Removing and replacing items as necessary can help.
2. Layers. Layers. Layers. I go with anywhere from 1-3 layers depending on the temperature, wind, and precipitation.
3. Hats. They are good. Any kind will do. Baseball hat, knit hat, fleecy hat, hat with a pompom, or a Santa hat. All work. I stay warmer and can wear less clothes when I wear a hat. Who doesn't like a hat with a pompom?
4. Plan for needing to stop. Yes, you don't intend to stop. No one does. But what would happen if you were several miles from your car, home, or shelter and you got hurt or just could not run anymore? Make sure you have enough clothes to keep you warm. Carrying your phone doesn't hurt either.
5. Start your runs later in the day so that the temperature warms up a bit.
6. You still need to stay hydrated, even though it is colder.
7. When you are done, change out of your sweaty running clothes immediately into a complete set of warm, dry clothes. This helps if you are prone to getting very very cold after cold-weather workouts.