Invest more time in your warm-up
Just as with a car, the body also takes longer to warm up in winter. A cold start can result in injury, since training without an adequate warm-up can lead to shock in muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Put an extra 10 minutes into stretching and warm-ups. It will give you a better chance against injury while performing/training in the cold.
Just as important as proper preparation is the way you go about completing your training. Once you have completed your run, cool down for a few minutes before moving immediately into the warmth in order to stretch, so that your muscles do not become stiff. In winter, muscles cool down very quickly, so any by-products from contraction cannot be flushed out of the bloodstream in time. This results in painful muscle spasms and even injury if they are later “torn apart”. If you push hard at the end of your training session, make sure you don’t sit or lie down immediately after reaching exhaustion – this will cause circulation to drop very fast and your muscles will stiffen.
Dress up warmly
The fact that winter training requires warm clothing should be self-evident. Nevertheless, it is easy to underestimate temperatures, especially when you’ve spent the day indoors ahead of your training, or if the wind picks up when you are out. Dressing for the cold is best done in “onion dress” where you dress in easy-to-remove layers to allow for changes in body temperature. Be sure to wear enough layers and that the extremities are covered since they radiate a large amount of heat.
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