For many of us, cold weather has arrived or is on the way. My favorite time of year! The cooler weather is welcomed by most as relief from those hot summer running days. However, some days can be just plain cold.
Be smart and use your best judgment as to whether or not to run when you have a cold or feel like you might be getting sick. Sometimes it can feel good knowing you ran or made your scheduled training run even though you were sick, but it could lead you to getting sicker and missing a week of training rather than only one day. If you are training for a race, a big part of training is breaking down your body and it recovering to become stronger. As you break down your body, your immune system may weaken and make you more susceptible to becoming sick. Keep this in mind when considering whether or not to run when you are sick. Missing a single run is always better than missing 1-2 weeks while you are laid up in bed sick.
Dress appropriately to keep yourself warm, but not hot - and cool, but not cold. Naturally, our bodies generate heat as we run. It is okay to be a little cool at the start of a run knowing we will warm up, but if in doubt, go ahead and take along a pair of gloves and a cap (or toboggan) so you do not find yourself shivering late in the run. If you find the gloves are not needed, you can easily stuff them in your pants and run on. Applying Chap Stick to your lips might be a good idea too.
Just because we may not sweat as much during cold days does not mean we can cut back on fluid consumption. Be sure to continue hydrating after runs and that you get your body weight back to within a half pound or equal to what it was before the run by consuming water or sports drink following the run.