It’s November 18 and summer is officially over! The first snowfall of the season rolled through Upstate New York earlier this week. It left me thinking about previous years of winter running and how I coped with the wind and the cold. In short, winter running outdoors sucks. It sucks and I don’t really enjoy it. However, I’m a firm believer that running outside and on the road is better from a performance standpoint for two reasons:
Nothing simulates running on pavement or trails better than running on pavement or trails. The races I have planned for 2019 are all outdoors so I’ll run outdoors as often as possible, even in the frigid Northeast.
It builds mental toughness. Working the mental aspect of your athleticism is just as important as the physical. If I’m able to endure the sub-freezing temperatures and biting wind chill, then mile 18 of the Ironman marathon should be no problem… I hope.
Winter Running Tips
If you’re like me and want to stay off the treadmill as long as possible there are a few things you can do to stay warm while continuing to run outside.
RUN WITH CONFIDENCE
You must be mentally tougher than Mother Nature. We know she can be a real bitch sometimes, but we can’t allow her to dictate our training. Plus, running scared or timid in the snow increases your risk of injury. Run proud and with confidence!
COVER EXTREMITIES ONLY
This one goes against everything you’ve ever heard, but hear me out. What’s the first things to get cold and numb when cold? Our hands and feet, right? Wear gloves and a nice pair of socks. You can wear a hat too but a headband to just cover your ears might work better. When we run our core body temperature rises and when wearing a lot of layers, it’ll rise fairly quickly. You can always take off layer after layer but where are you going to leave it? I don’t know about you, but I hate carrying things while I run and I hate even more wrapping something around my waist. You don’t need many layers, you’ll warm up fast. Keep your hands, feet and ears warm and you’re good!⠀⠀⠀
REMOVE SWEATY CLOTHING ASAP
You’ll want to get out of your sweaty and damp clothing as soon as you’re done running and back inside. If you’re getting into the car for a drive home, pack a dry sweatshirt to put on. You never want to sit in your cold, wet clothing in low temperatures. This will cause your body temperature to drop, leaving you a shivering mess.
These are the exact tips we share with our triathletes and runners ahead of each winter training block. Winter running doesn’t need to be scary. It’ll be cold initially but you’re tough!