Do you have any tips for running safely in the winter?

Q21:

We are lucky to live in a city where running outside throughout the year is a reality.  Moreover, we can do it along the ocean. Here are a few tips to ensure safety and maximize fun when running during the winter months:

1. Dress appropriately

You want to layer enough so that you are comfortable, but not so much that you are sweating. A rule of thumb is to start off a bit cold because you will warm up in ten minutes.  Wearing technical fabrics that wick your sweat will help you from getting the chills. With Vancouver’s wind and rain  you will often need a windbreaker or shell for your top layer.

2. Choose your route

If it’s late, you’re tired and the weather isn’t great, choose a route close to home! You don’t have to be a hero, and if you’re not having a great run you can head home.  
Also, when planning your run check out if it’s windy, as this can definitely impact your run. Running between buildings can help protect you. Otherwise, if you secretly enjoy the vigour of mother nature’s gusts, start by running into the wind so you can have it at your back for your return trip! 

3. Stay visible

With limited daylight hours there is a good chance that you’ll be running when it’s dark out. Make sure you wear visible colours and if possible reflective gear.  Also, you need to make sure you can see where you are running!  I have a few friends that wear a headlamp, attach bike lights to their shoes or even just carry a small bike light or torch to light the way. 

4. Safety first

With puddles and slick running surfaces you need to be careful about changing direction or speed too quickly. ie. This is not the time to book it for the 4seconds left on the crosswalk! You may find that you shorten your stride naturally which is a perfectly normal thing to keep your footing. 

Happy Running!