If you are a serious runner, winter is not something you may look forward to. Running on a treadmill never beats the thrill of an outdoor sprint and avoiding winter running can make you rusty come spring race season. So what do you do?

Dr. Michelle Camastra, who is certified in athletic taping (a means to stabilize overstressed body parts, commonly used by athletes for better mobility) among other health and wellness treatments, suggests a few tips to help you continue sprinting in the snow without risk of injury.

Layer Up

While it’s important to be warm during a run, you need to manage sweat to avoid catching a cold. The right way to do this is by layering up comfortably, feeling slightly cool when you start. You should avoid parkas and start with a base layer that keeps the moisture away from your skin such as a wicking tank. Follow that by a full sleeved warmer insulated layer made of soft merino wool or polyester. Top off with an outer layer that protects you from wind and moisture. Make sure to keep your legs warm with just two layers to keep off wind and moisture. Avoid an insulted middle layer and thick insulated gloves. Instead, slip on thin moisture resistant gloves, a cap, ear muffs and knee-length wicking socks.

Reflective Fluorescent Gear

Avoid dark colours when running in the winter. White or light shades or bright fluorescent strips of colour help motorists see you clearly during the darker daytime hours. Reflective colours or LED lights are also important to consider. If you feel like a Christmas tree, you know you’re on track as it is super important to make yourself visible.

Winter Running Shoes

For better grip and traction on snowy days, buy the right winter running shoes that are made to endure the elements. Traction footwear with spiked soles bite into the ice and snow, giving you a firm grip. Winter running shoes help you brave hail, sleet, slush, snow and ice with less effort. The shoes are heavier but will help you hold your balance.

Short Strides

The one thing that stops athletes from jogging in freezing conditions is the fear of a slip or fall. You can’t avoid slippery ice in Ontario winters. The best way to avoid injuries is by shortening your stride to maintain your balance. Maintaining your centre of gravity is imperative to avoid a fall. You may find it hard to adjust at first but in just a few days you will get used to the new technique and running rhythm. Warm up before you set off to get the blood circulating.

Resistance Training

On bad weather days, you can consider resistance training indoors to keep you flexible, strong and agile. The gym is a great place to indulge in such activities. Spending time to supplement regular running with resistance training helps pay off in the spring when you are ready to race ahead.

Dr. Michelle Camastra

However vigilant you are, sometimes it’s hard to avoid falls and injuries. In the event of an injury, get in touch with Dr. Michelle Camastra. With her expertise in chiropractic manipulation, myofascial release, rehabilitation and contemporary medical acupuncture, she can help you return to an active, healthy lifestyle. Book online or call to schedule an appointment.