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Benefits of Running In the Cold

Benefits of Running In the Cold

Benefits of Running In the Cold

Every athlete needs to know these 5 benefits of running in the cold. While many prefer to run in ideal conditions, running in the cold has the potential to give some significant benefits and boost future performance.

  1. Running in the cold trains your body to operate in adverse conditions. Running in the cold feels tough, and it takes special motivation to get out the door. The cold, like all adverse weather conditions, trains your body to function during difficult times—much like the later stages of a race will be. Increasing your stamina by running in the cold and adverse weather conditions of winter will increase your race performance.
  2. Running in the cold enhances mental toughness. Just as your body benefits from running in adverse conditions, your mind benefits as well. The mental fortitude gained by running in the cold can propel you to the finish line of a race when the going gets tough.
  3. Running in the cold prepares you for cold-weather races. If you live somewhere that sees cold weather for a significant part of the year, running in the cold is inevitable. Just as inevitable, if you are an avid racer, is running a race in the cold. Training in the cold mimics race-time conditions, allowing your body to become used to what it will experience during a race and increasing race day performance.
  4. Running in the cold prepares you for a more productive spring running season. Most cold weather running takes place during the winter months, when many armchair athletes remain dormant. Bucking this trend and running in the cold prepares you for increased performance come springtime. Maintaining a base level of fitness throughout the winter months results in faster runs and better endurance during the following spring and summer running seasons.
  5. Running in the cold is less difficult than running when it is hot. While running, the body generates excess heat that is exhausted through the skin. Running in the cold keeps the body cool, allowing heat to escape more readily. With proper cold weather gear, running in the cold can be easier than running on a hot summer day.

Be aware that running in the cold has its dangers. Increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite necessitate appropriate cold weather gear. Dress properly, however, and running in the cold can have a significant benefit to your running performance. Dress in layers, avoid the wind and protect yourself from the sun to keep your cold weather workouts safe.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Manti Te'o Dead Fake Beard January 17, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Hmm, that looks like Kevin O', but there is no cast on his arm from slipping on ice when running in the cold!
madman2001 February 18, 2013 at 08:48 PM
I run in the cold, Meghan, because I'd rather run outside than sit at home or run in a gym, but I don't particularly like it, especially when it's windy. I also have to be careful about breathing in too much cold air, since I have exercise-induced asthma. How much do you run daily? I get in about 4 runs of maybe 2½ miles each week.
Meghan Kennihan February 18, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Hi Craig, I agree about the "dread" mill... I run anywhere from 40-60 miles a week depending on what I'm training for... Ironman training more like 40... if just run training 60... would love to be able to handle 80+ but have suffered a few stress fractures... currently have heel bursitis ;(

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