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Dr Andrew Murray's top 5 tips for running in extreme cold

by Editor
Friday 6th January 2017
It’s cold out there at the moment, like really cold. We’re not that used to extremes in this country, usually experiencing about a 10 degree range of temperatures between summer and winter. 
So, when faced with extreme cold, what should runners do to stay warm and safe? Dr Andrew Murray, ultra runner, GP, health advisor to the Scottish Government and Merrell ambassador, knows a thing or two about this, having competed in the North Pole Marathon, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and the Genghis Khan Ice Marathon. Andrew gives us his top tips on running in extreme cold. 
1) FOOTWEAR- wear a pair of shoes that are a size too big- allowing space for a pair of extra socks to avoid frostbite in your toes.  GORE-TEX shoes are warmer than non-GORE-TEX shoes.  
2) LAYER UP- lots of small layers are better than one or two massive ones.  Wrap up like an onion and peel a layer off if you are overheating.
3) BALACLAVA - the most common places for frostbite are the earlobes, and the tip of the nose.  Keep these covered with a balaclava/ ski goggles.
4) GLOVES- use a thin inner layer, to help with tasks like opening food, but a warmer mitt on top to keep your hands (and your food) warm.
5) FOOD- you don’t want to hit the wall at minus 40 celsius.  Eat small amounts of carbohydrate often.  Keep gels in your warm mits or next to your skin to stop them freezing.
This month Murray will be travelling to the Arctic plains of Mongolia in a bid to retain his title as champion of the Genghis Khan Ice Marathon. In the process, the GP and Merrell ambassador will be gliding across a frozen river network, braving temperatures of  minus 35 degrees celsius and evading packs of wild wolves. Good luck Andrew! 

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