Expert tips for running marathon in cold weather

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 21, 2017
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Quick Bites

  • Changes in weather conditions can impose serious strain on your training program.
  • Keep bottle handy while running to ensure hydration.
  • Proper planning of winter training is required.

Expert runners and those who are running for the first time are more or less similar and they all can get benefit from winter marathon training. Since the conditions can be increasingly hazardous so training becomes a must. Training during the winter requires special attention to all of the factors involved.

Proper planning for winter training is centered on injury prevention and performance improvement. Here are few essential items for long-distance training during the colder months. 

Marathon 

It’s very important to keep yourself hydrated

Most people are not concerned with becoming dehydrated during the winter. The common misconception is that you sweat less when it is colder outside. Despite the lower temperatures, your body still has to sweat in order to dissipate the heat that it produces. Camelbacks or water bottles are convenient when running outside and should always be kept on hand. 

Dress in layers

You should always ensure that you are dressed properly for the marathon/ event. Loose fitting clothes are ideal for proper management of body temperature. Dark-colored clothing allows for better absorption of heat from the sun. Keep your head covered because the highest percentage of heat is lost there. 

Be mindful of the weather

Changes in weather conditions can impose serious strain on your training program. You should always check the forecast prior to exercising so that you are prepared for what lies ahead. Temperatures, wind speeds and sun exposure are all factors that should be considered when planning an outdoor run. 

Extend your warm-ups

It makes perfect sense that the time for warming up in cold weather should be longer. Instead of your typical five- to 10-minute warm-up, it is more beneficial to extend that time to at least 15 minutes. Warming up allows for you to better optimize performance by elevating your heart rate and increasing blood flow to the working muscles. 

Stay strong

Even though the focus of your training is distance running, it is still important to maintain strength. Resistance training should be done on at least two days each week and should consist of at least eight to 10 exercises for the major muscle groups. If done on the same day, strength exercises should be done after aerobic exercise since running is your ultimate goal and requires most of your energy. 

Stretch it out

Cold weather can make your muscles less pliable and puts you at a higher risk for an overuse injury. When we shiver, our muscles contract to produce heat even when we are not moving. Winter marathon training imposes more stress on our muscles, which makes it especially important to maintain flexibility. Static stretching on at least two to three days every week can decrease the likelihood of an injury, which would be a major setback to your training. 

Winter marathon training is not to be taken lightly. To be successful, you must work vigorously and be capable of adapting to specific environmental changes. Through careful and consistent training, a marathon runner can effectively train during the winter months. Competitors who challenge themselves the most will have the advantage over other runners who have been less active. Get out, stay warm and train wisely. 

Image Source: Getty

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