Meet Karen Welby, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Running Coach, Personal Trainer and Founder of Active Accessories
“13 in 2013” is an awesome event and I’m so happy to be a part of it both personally and professionally. Jill is nice enough to let me guest post here on a monthly basis throughout the challenge, so hopefully I can pass along some useful running tips.
First, a little background on myself. I began my competitive running career 15 years ago, when I competed in sprints and middle distance events in high school. After lots of hard work in high school, I was able to continue running Track and Field at the Division I level in college. Once my college career ended, I coached collegiate Track and Field for 2 years and have continued to privately train running clients.
So what can I share with you today? I figured I would start off with five tips for running an outdoor race in cold weather. I’m sure a lot of people will be doing races this winter to stay on track with their 13 races in 2013.
Tip 1 – Dress warm and in many layers.
When it’s cold outside, you want to make sure you are layered up before you leave the house. For me, this means wearing the clothes I plan to race in PLUS clothes on top of them such as sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Keep these extra layers on until it’s time to head over to your corral or pace group, then strip down to your racing outfit. If the temperature is below 40 degrees, I always race in an ear warmer or hat and wear gloves.
Tip 2 – Bring extra clothes, especially a pair of socks.
You don’t know what the conditions will be like throughout the course, so plan for the worst. There could be snow or puddles or it might just be wet and damp. A change of socks is good to have waiting for you at the finish line. Before you start to put your warmer layer of clothes back on, take off your sweaty, damp clothes to prevent yourself from catching a cold.
Tip 3 – Warm up before the race.
I warm up before every race, but its especially important to get the blood flowing when the conditions are cold. “A proper warm up increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to the muscles,” says Ann Alyanak, a University of Dayton coach who placed seventh at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. A good warm up consists of 5-15 minutes of a slow jog/walk, a few strides at race pace and stretching. I’ll save some detailed warm up tips for another post!
Tip 4 – Make sure you are hydrated.
It’s easy to overlook this when it’s cold out, but being hydrated is just as important in the winter. Be sure you start drinking water the moment you wake up on race day, and it’s even important to hydrate in the days leading up to your race.
Tip 5 – Have a support group to cheer you on (and hold your stuff while you’re running!)
Having a fan or two at your event is a great morale booster. They are also there to help hold your bag while you’re competing, so you don’t have to check a bag or worry about where to set down your stuff.
After you finish your winter race (or any race), be sure to reward yourself. Eat your favorite food or have your favorite drink – you earned it!
What tips do you have for winter racing?
About the Author: Karen Welby is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Running Coach and Personal Trainer. She is also the founder of a brand new company, Active Accessories, where she designs sporty, affordable fitness products that aid active lifestyles. You can follow her on Twitter (@coach_karenw) for health tips and running advice and learn more about her on her blog, Run with Nutrition.