Staying indoors during extreme cold is a no-brainer. But dedicated
runners may be reluctant to stay inside with the temperature at a
relatively warm 25 degrees.
That's the expected high on January 25 for the Securian
Winter Run in St. Paul, MN, one of the biggest events in the Saint
Paul Winter Carnival. It's a normal high temperature for Minnesota:
Maybe not too warm, but below freezing. That's when runners should be
particularly aware of hazards that do not exist in warm weather.
Paul Langer, a podiatrist with Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) and
president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, is a
marathoner who runs throughout the winter. TCO
provides medical services at the Securian Winter Run.
"Some people find they run better in cold weather conditins," said
Langer. "I have set most of my personal records in spring races."
"The only thing that keeps me from running outdoors in winter is ice,"
he added. "I have seen too many walkers and runners with ankle fractures
when it is icy out."
offers specific precautions to prevent injuries.
Tip #1: Don't be surprised by iceIce catches even
experienced winter athletes by surprise during freeze-thaw cycles,
especially in the morning when the previous night's freeze hasn't
melted. Dr. Langer recommends using cleat-like foot gear that improves
traction or just playing it safe and running indoors.
Tip #2: Protect knees and ankles with tights or knee-high socks"The
cold can exacerbate overuse injuries," says Langer. "I advise patients
with knee or ankle issues to keep their lower extremities insulated in
winter." He says the Achilles tendon, for example, has very little soft
tissue protection where it attaches to the heel and less blood supply to
keep it warm. Extra layers on joints can help prevent pain.
Tip #3: Consider winter running shoes or duct tape your regular shoesThe
wind- and water-resistant uppers and more aggressive outsoles on winter
running shoes are great for cold climates and snow conditions, says
"Even in the extreme cold, I have never had to worry about cold feet
when I wear winter running shoes," he said. "It seems the blood flow is
strong enough to keep the chill away."
He suggests duct tape on the toe and upper of regular running shoes to
minimize wind chill.
Tip #4: Wear shoes with extra cushioningMidsoles are firmer
and less compliant in the cold. Langer says heavily-cushioned shoes in
winter and more stable shoes in summer are best for injury-prone runners.
Tip #5: Enjoy it!"On those days when the snow is falling
and my feet are cutting fresh tracks, I value the opportunity that
running gives me to be outside instead of letting winter trap me
inside," says Dr. Langer.
Register for the Securian Winter RunThe Securian Winter Run
is actually three events in one - a half marathon (a qualifying event
for the Twin Cities Marathon), 10K and 5K. The 10K and 5K offer
opportunities, as Dr. Langer says, to not let winter trap you inside.
Find out more about the Securian Winter Run and register here.
Since 1880, Securian
Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security
for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and
retirement plans. Now one of the nation's largest financial services
providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that
offer a broad range of financial services.
DOFU - 01-2014A00126-0114
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