Winter workouts can help you run faster and longer when spring comes, experts say.
Dr. Reed Ferber is the director of the Running Injury Clinic in Calgary and has done extensive research on the biomechanics of winter running.
He’s found people automatically change the way they run outdoors when it’s icy.
Good running shoes can help prevent slipping and injuries, but because we already adjust to the conditions, Ferber said, we don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a new pair.
Proper clothing and layers, however, are important to stay warm and avoid injuries.
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“You should make sure you have some gloves — heavy but not too heavy — and a nice light toque,” said Stephanie Symington with Run Calgary.
“Then for your base layer, it’s best to have merino wool.”
Ferber adds you should also have something covering your mouth to help warm the air as you’re breathing.
“If you start breathing heavier in cold air, that can actually damage your lungs,” he said.
Warming up and getting your blood flowing before sprinting off is also an important step to take to avoid muscle and lung injuries.
So if you’re ready to boost your outdoor mileage but lack the motivation, setting a goal for springtime might do the trick, Symington said.
“Maybe signing up for a spring race and maybe get a training plan together —those are the types of goals that will keep you running throughout the winter,” she said.