When 20-degree weather strikes, most people prefer to stay inside. But five days a week, the Elon women's track team is out running regardless of the weather.
To senior Allyson Oram, a member of the track team for four years, this commitment to training is nothing out of the ordinary.
"I've done workouts in the pouring rain," she said.
Three days a week, the team runs six to eight miles, and they spend the other two days working out on the track. This regimen can mean at least 30 minutes of exercise in freezing conditions. According to Oram, on days like that, the warm-up is even more important.
While preparing to work out in cold weather:
- Stretch properly and keep circulation up.
- Dress properly to stay safe and comfortable in freezing conditions.
- Layers are essential. The first layer should be a material that pulls sweat away from the skin to keep the body from cooling itself down. The outer layer should be a waterproof material that can keep moisture and the cold out while keeping heat in.
- Keep your hands covered.
These tips can help the body get through the workout but, according to Oram, the mind is another matter.
"You just have to think, 'Just focus on your workout, just focus on each lap,' not worry about the weather or anything, really stay focused," she said.
Running outside in the cold weather can be uncomfortable, but Oram says it's good preparation for the track team's upcoming season.
"I guess practicing in this cold weather in the winter definitely prepares you for outdoor track and makes you a stronger, a stronger runner so all this practicing," Oram said. "People think we're crazy because we run outside in the cold, it really does help for outdoor track."
The track team's next meet is at Penn State University on Jan. 31. The team will be running on an indoor track.