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Personal Training Tips In Astoria: Cold Weather Running

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Fitness Tips, Neighborhood Training

The L Trainer’s Tips for the Great Outdoors

Brrr! We know New York is not the only town that’s been hit with bad weather.  Today, we showcase one of our trainers and her outdoor exercise strategy for when the temps in NYC dip below 32 degrees.

This week the entire nation was faced with a harsh reality–winter. Yes, folks, winter does include cold temps, and sometimes that means single digits and negatives. However, between my winters in Montana (wearing long underwear) and navigating Astoria Park (with my running shoes year-round), I have picked up a few hints at schlepping through bad weather. Some may also be handy if you like to ski, snowboard, or sled, and with that, let’s plow ahead:

View of Manhattan from Astoria Park on a cold day

View of Manhattan from Astoria Park on a cold day


Prep With Hydration

Whether you exercise outside or choose to keep it next to the fire, drinking plenty of water even in cold months  is crucial to your fitness. The air is drier in the winter, and although we are not sweating as much as after a shower in August, our bodies still are not maintaining enough hydration. This should explain why you may find your lips more chapped in the winter, and your skin drier and itchier. Keep up on a steady intake of water even though you may not be sweating as much in warmer temperature.


Tie One On

A dry layer, that is. I knot a lightweight but warm, long-sleeved shirt around my waist when I run in the cold. During my cool down, I swap my sweaty undershirt for my dry one to stay as warm as possible while walking home in cool and (especially) windy conditions. The extra little bit around my waist is worth the warmth at the end of a workout, and I never have to worry about wearing a t-shirt covered in frozen sweat.


Wear Reflective and/or Bright Gear–Always2014-01-09 14.23.47

This is especially true for city-dwellers doing activities like biking and running. Even if it is broad daylight, make the chances of you being seen as great as possible. The sooner a car sees you, the more time the vehicle has to slow down, which becomes crucial when the roads are icy and slick.


Vaseline is Your Best Friend

Remember that tip about hydration?  Protect your skin (the largest organ in your body) from drying out. I stole this trick from a few snowboarding friends and use it on my runs all the time–rub vaseline anywhere the cold, dry and heartless wind hits–lips, underneath the eyes, etc. Also, lather some of that petroleum jelly right on your knuckles before you put your gloves on so your hands stay nice and moisturized.


Be Picky, Be Smart

It’s not just my ripe age of 32, but I choose risk over reward every time when it comes to extremely, inclement weather. Icy patches increase sprained ankles. Very cold temps cause brittle muscles and increase injuries. High winds could mean tree branches and power lines being blown around, and dry air increases my chances of having an asthma attack. I weigh all of these risk factors before I venture out running and decide from there whether or not change my workout plan for the day (yoga, circuit training, etc.).


Start Slow

Even if you are a seasoned runner, starting out slow in the cold is key not only finishing strong, but warming up your body on a cardiovascular level. Your heart is already working hard to pump blood to keep your body warm–the last thing you want to do when you first venture out in the snow is high intensity sprints, hill work, or even heavy exertion (think heaving a shovel full of snow around). Remember, cardiac deaths increase in colder months, so do not push it too much too soon. In fact, I allow myself walk breaks as needed during cold weather running.


Above all, be safe and have fun. User the milder months of March and April to break records and train hard outdoors. Think of winter running as a base-coat for your training for the rest of the year, and you’ll be much happier and relaxed if you have to skip an outdoor workout because of a Nor’easter. Happy Trails!

(If you want more motivation from The L Trainer Team, contact us today)!