Tis the season for white Christmases and snowy holidays.
This means tis the season for frozen fingers, wet toes, and cold runs.
If you are a runner, you know what I mean…
Those 4-6 months of the year where you desperately wish running inside on the treadmill was a delight. Unfortunately the running in place going nowhere gets old after a few weeks, yet the cold lasts for 4 months.
Here is a little quiz for you:
So how do you cope with the winter?
A) Do you stop running for the season?
B) Do you stay on the boring treadmill?
C) Do you only run on the warmer days?
D) Or are you like me and slip and slide all over ice, not giving up running (and falling) outside during the winter?
If you are choice D I have some advice for you!!
Here are my 6 tips for winterizing your running legs, lungs, and spirit!!!
- Invest in a good pair of gloves!
My fingers are perpetually cold, however in the winter they are even worse! They are always the first thing to almost freeze off and the last things to warm up as I do cardio. Seriously, I can be sweating all over but my fingers will still be barely functional due to the cold!
These gloves I picked up in New Zealand are my new favorite winter running essential! (I also got a pair of their socks that I LOVE that keep my toes warm and happy!)
- Make sure your running shoes still have traction!
This can save your bottom from a lot of bruises when running on snow and ice! I made the mistake of running last year on an icy Saturday morning in Philly with old runners. I ended up slipping and sliding even worse than usual all over the sidewalk, eventually leading me to a sitting position in a puddle on the ground. The traction will also give you a bit more distance between your toes and the slush on the ground which means they may be a bit dryer by the end of your run!
- Go with friends!
This is my go to tip whenever you don’t want to necessarily start doing something: make someone else do it with you! When you have someone to chat to, complain to, and pace with you warm up quicker! Both literally and figuratively; literally because you tend to run faster with others to push you so your body will warm up quicker and figuratively because it makes your heart warm and happy to share life and experiences with others! So run with others!
- Warm up by running in place or doing dynamic stretches before you go out!
If you get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles before you head out you will already be ahead when you step out and get hit by that cold rush of air that we all (well I) dread! These are good ones that I enjoy!
- Take a tissue!
My nose always runs like crazy, faster than my legs in the cold. A tissue is an essential for me in the winter while running!
- Lastly, LAYER!!!
This is so essential in winter running because miles 1 and 2 tend to be FREEZING, often complete with teeth chattering and shivers, mile 3 seems quite comfortable as you warm, and by mile 4 you are sweating under your warmest layer. This is why layering is wonderful, you can adjust as your body does!
Now don’t let the cold get you down, get out there and go! In the spring your races will feel like nothing if you train in the winter outside! I promise!