First and foremost - check the weather forecast. Find out not only how cold it is but the windchill (feels like) temperature as well. It's also a good idea to see if rain or snow are likely as that will not only change what you wear but could also change where you run.
Warmup correctly and start your run slowly. Winter is a great time to build up endurance but it's also an easy time to develop an injury as cold muscles need to warm up to a good exercise level before doing faster workouts.
Think about reduced daylight and dress for the conditions. The temperature can drop quickly if you start in daylight and end in darkness and the other way around if you start in the dark and finish in daylight. Consider getting a headlamp to use and also remember to use good layering so that you keep your body temperature balanced. It's a good idea to start feeling a little cool so that you're comfortable a few minutes into the run or exercise session.
Let people know where you'll be running and when you'll be back. You can also consider using an ap like Strava that will let you send a text link that lets someone follow along where you are running in case something unexpected happens
When you are out in the conditions there are a few things you should think about while running or walking. If it's snowy or icy, it's best to be in an area that you know well. Roots, rocks and uneven road or sidewalk surfaces are often harder to see when covered with snow. Always remember to watch for ice as well.
Wearing appropriate shoes is also important. When the ground is snow covered it usually isn't the time to break out your racing shoes and try to run your fastest workout ever. If you have an essential speedwork session that has to be done, try to find a well-cleaned street or treadmill to run on. From experience, I know that even with heavy snow, the entrance road to Warminster Park is almost always cleared and good for speed sessions even with heavy snow. Some of the snowplows used for that area are garaged on that road so on the way in and out they scrape everything down to the road surface. Plus since it's an entry to a park, traffic is pretty minumal so running on the road is about as safe as it can be.
Winter is also a good time to concentrate on developing some better aspects of form. When in running in snowy conditions, it's commen to shorten your stride. This will keep your feet under your center of gravity and keep you upright. If you want some more information about form development, check out our still under construction youtube channel.
tHE ORC cOMMUNITY
Since its founding, The Original Running Co. has been at the center of a proud community of runners in the Delaware Valley. This is a place where runners can come together and share their thoughts and ideas.