, Salem, MA


November 20, 2008

On The Run column: Don't let cold weather slow you down

On The Run

Jay Kumar

As much as we'd like to, there's no denying the fact that frigid temperatures have finally arrived in the area this week.

For some runners, it means the end of outdoor runs until the spring and possibly a move to the treadmill. For other, hardier souls, it means breaking out the cold weather gear.

I'm one of those folks who prefer to run in shorts for as long as possible. When the temperatures start dipping below 40, I'll reluctantly put on running pants. But running in cold weather requires more than just additional clothing.

Protect your brain

According to some studies, you lose 40 percent of your body's heat through your head, so make sure you wear a hat to provide some protection from the cold and wind. It could be the same lightweight cap made of moisture-wicking material that you wear any other time of the year.

In sub-freezing temperatures, a warmer hat is advisable, but the days of bulky wool headgear are long gone. There are plenty of hats made of fleece, wool or other materials to protect your ears from frostbite without making your head feel like it's got a down comforter wrapped around it.

Don't overheat

It's possible to go overboard on winter gear. Think twice if you're bulking up with a tech shirt, a sweatshirt and a vest or jacket. Even though those first 10 minutes will be chilly, after that you'll probably find yourself sweating up a storm. Make sure the first layer you have on is made of a synthetic wicking material; if you wear a cotton shirt, you'll just have to a soaked garment that will make you even colder. Wear an outer layer that can serve as a windbreaker and keep rain and snow from soaking through.

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