Running This Winter? Website Offers Suggestions for Proper Attire
Now that winter is rearing its ugly head in North Carolina, it's time to put away your summer running gear and break out your winter attire.
Maybe this is your first winter running outside or you've just moved to the area and you're unsure what would be appropriate. Runner's World has you covered.
The popular magazine's website offers a what-to-wear tool to make those decisions a little less complicated. The tool offers recommendations, but encourages runners to make adjustments according to their personal preferences and comfort.
Runners are asked to enter details including temperature, weather conditions, time of day and the intensity of your run before calculating recommendations.
For example, a female who likes to feel warm going on a normal run at dawn on a clear, 35-degree day with no wind, should wear sunglasses, a winter cap, a light jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and tights. Under the same conditions, a woman who likes to be on the cooler side could nix the winter cap, gloves, and light jacket and wear capri tights instead of long tights.
A cool-running man could opt for shorts, while a warm-running man would wear similar attire to that of a woman.
How Cold is Too Cold?
Generally speaking, North Carolina winters tend to be pretty mild and never dip too far below freezing.
When trying to decide if you should take to the streets or hit a treadmill, consider the wind chill factor. Wind can dissipate the heat insulation your body creates and increase your risk of frostbite. The National Weather Service has a chart to help you determine wind chill and frostbite risk. If the wind chill factor is -20 degrees or below, stay inside.
Take care when running when the temperature is below 25 degrees, by covering as much skin as possible with wind and water resistant clothing.
The same considerations should be taken if your running partner is of the four-legged variety. Dogs, even those bred for colder weather, are also susceptible to frostbite, which appears red, white or grey. Frostbitten skin should be warmed gradually before seeing your vet.
Invest in a set of dog booties to protect your dog's paws from toxic de-icing products and salt often used in the winter. If your pup won't tolerate booties, be sure to wash his feet with warm water immediately after your run. Depending on your dog, his coat and his tolerance for the cold weather, consider a jacket or sweater that will keep him warm.