After a fairly mild winter so far, it seems like like the frigid weather has finally come to my part of the country. It's definitely not ideal running conditions. But I find that, as long as I'm dressed appropriately for cold weather running, it's that first mile that is the toughest. Once I make it through that, I'm warmed-up and feel comfortable for the rest of my run. If you're like me and love running outside in the winter, but could do without that first painful mile, try some of these tips to make it a little easier:
Warm up inside before you head out. Run or march in place for 10 minutes or do other warm-up exercises before you head out. Your muscles will already be warm, so you won't notice the extreme temperature difference as much.
Cover your face. To make breathing easier during that first mile, cover your mouth and nose with a neck warmer, scarf, or bandana. This will help warm the air before it hits your lungs. You can always take it off once you warm up and your body adjusts.
Use hand warmers. I always find that it takes my hands and feet the longest to warm up. It helps to use hand warmers, such Grabber Hand Warmers, inside your gloves or socks, on top of your toes. Once your hands and feet warm up, you can take them out so you don't overheat.
Warm up your clothes in the dryer. Throw your running clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before you head out the door into the blustery weather. You'll feel warm and cozy when you start your run. And by the time the warmth from the dryer fades, you'll already be past that first uncomfortable mile.