Road Runners Club of America

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Cold Weather Running Tips

  • Always follow the RRCA General Safety Guidelines
  • Leave the headphones at home. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes cannot see. Wet, wintery conditions may weaken tree limbs causing them to fall. Hearing the crack before the fall may be the difference between avoiding a falling branch or being tackled by a dead limb.
  • Avoid running on the roads in snowy conditions. Drivers have a decreased ability to maneuver and stop.
  • Winter means fewer daylight hours. Wear bright-colored, reflective clothing or a reflective vest so you are noticeable to area traffic. For added visibility, wear a lightweight headlamp or flashing light.
  • Wear layers of clothing that will help you maintain your core body temperature during the run but will keep you warm during warm-up and cool-down phases.
  • Consider wearing traction devices on your shoes if sidewalks, trails or roads have snow or ice cover.
  • If you drive to a running trail or route, leave a change of dry cloths and a blanket in the car for emergency situations.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings and the weather conditions. Oncoming storms can quickly drop the temperature putting you at risk for frostbite or hypothermia if you are caught wearing the wrong clothes.
  • Know where to find shelter on your route if the weather gets really bad.
  • Do not ignore shivering. It is an important first sign that the body is losing heat, and you may be in danger of hypothermia.

For more information on cold-weather conditions and cold-weather health concerns, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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