Ease Winter Running Pains

December 5, 2014

Senior Runner In WinterSeveral runners have told me they love cold weather—they think they get more oxygen because the air is condensed. Others hate it, and worry the burning is hurting them.

What’s going on? Really, the air is warm by the time it gets to your lungs—that’s how your body is designed. But, winter air has very low humidity (it’s in the rain, sleet, and snow around you or the thick winter clouds). The burning you feel are your cells becoming dehydrated.

Cupping your hand over your mouth or breathing through a scarf can ease the burn a little. But if you’re running in winter, it’s twice as important that you stay well hydrated (so drink twice as much water).

You do need to worry about keeping your extremities and skin warm. Heating packets are great, but be careful how you use them. Make sure that your coat is keeping your body warm—you don’t want things warming super unevenly.

If you get too cold, the best way to warm up when you get home is to take a bath (warm, not hot). It’s how they’ve done it for centuries, and it’s still the best. It will also ease aching muscles—but be sure to still drink plenty of water.

If you don’t need to warm up, then continue drinking plenty of water anyway. You can ease back pain with Dakota Muscle Relief (my favorite is the roll-on, because I like the physical rub of it instead of just the spray). My favorite place to apply it on sore legs is right along the ridge between the muscle and bone (on top), then zig-zag along the calf.

And if you’ve sweat into your shoes, keep them fresh longer with Smelly Shoe Spray.

Are you a winter runner? What are your tips and tricks?

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