It’s my 100th blog post! I feel like I should celebrate somehow.
I am not sure we had much of a “fall” here in the Kansas City area. Maybe a 2-3 week window and then super cold temperatures and snow blew in pretty much over night. Winter training is important for runners looking for spring PRs and goal races. Winter running doesn’t have to be a negative. Being prepared can actually make winter running one of the best times of the year for solid base phase training.
Here are some quick tips and tricks for getting through the winter months and actually ENJOYING it!
- Dress appropriately!- This is one of the biggest factors. Runners don’t know how to dress for a variety of temperatures. There are many images and links that can give you an idea, but a lot of it is really personal preferences. Dress for temperatures that are 15-20 degrees warmer, layers are your friend! Utilizing synthetic materials that wick moisture away from your body. If there is wind, a light shell jacket will help a ton. Shirts and jackets with a zipper are also a great option as you can move the zipper up and down to act as a sort of thermostat. Again this is very preferential. I don’t like to run in too many articles of restricting clothes, so I will stay in shorts and a long sleeve until sub 20 degree temps. One of my super talented running buddies, on the other hand, will be in layers on layers in 40 degrees as she prefers to run warmer.
- Warm up- Start your run easy as your muscles and lunges adjust to the cooler temperatures. If you are getting a medium or longer run in, do a small loop our out and back and then drop off some layers as your body warms up.
- Mind the footing- If there is ice or snow on the ground, there are a variety of ways to add stability to your footing which will allow you to run a bit more safely. My personal preference is adding hexagonal screws to the bottom of my shoes. You can learn more on my previous post, Screw your running shoes!
- Accessories– The little things can make a big difference! There are the obvious gloves and ear warmers that help big time. You can also grab a balaclava or gaiter to help protect your face during freezing temps. Sunglasses may are also a great way to protect your face from cold winds. Its surprising how much a pair of sunglasses can help. When the temps really drop, I also add some hand warmers in my gloves.
- Skin and lip protection- Chap stick is a must in winter running. Especially on windy days. Even with the cooler temperatures, if you are running during the day, make sure you have sunscreen on all exposed skin. The last tip here is Vaseline. When it is super cold and windy, adding a thin layer of Vaseline to your cheeks can help out tremendously. Trust me, next time its a negative wind chill you will be glad you tried it.
- Change and eat immediately- Get out of your cold wet clothes quickly. I personally like a nice warm shower and a cup of coffee after a chilly morning run. It’s definitely harder to get motivated in the morning, however those cold morning runs seem to give me a bit more energy heading into my day. I build in about 15-20 minutes of lounging around time too. Eating after a run is a good idea, but after a cold run its even better in helping your body warm up.
- Accountability– Its so much easier to skip a run when you don’t have that added accountability. Grab some running buddies or work with a coach to help you maintain consistency through the winter
- Treadmill- Not my favorite option but still better than not running. Some people, like myself, loathe the indoor rat wheel. Other runners I know love and embrace the warm option. Either way, remember that consistency is the key.
Check out my blog post The Secret to successful run training!- Part 1 of 2
Winter training is the key to your spring goals. Find some friend, grab your running tights and get out for some miles. Don’t worry too much if your pace starts out a tad slower its about keeping that base up and maintaining your routine through the darker winter months.
Check out my blog post on How to be more consistent in your run training. Part 2 of 2
Winter running can be super beautiful, take some time to snap a picture or just appreciate mother nature. You’ll be cursing the hot summer temps before we know it.
What are you favorite winter running tips. I am sure I left some great ideas off! Comment below!
Need some holiday shopping ideas? Here is the first of my RunCanvas favorites Count Down to Christmas- RunCanvas Favorites and Holiday shopping ideas for your runner- Accessories
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