In the summer, there are an abundance of articles about how to survive summer running, and in the winter there are plenty of articles of “how to survive winter running”.
Both of those arguments imply we are only surviving the summer and winter months. They imply we aren’t supposed to enjoy running during that time…just survive.
While winter can be frigid and summer can be scorching, the reality is every season has their positive and negatives. Parts of Spring and Fall are either rainy, cold, too hot, or something else to complain about. So for argument’s sake, we will say about three months of the year are good running months are actually decent to run. You can pick any weather to complain about.
How do you survive and even enjoy running in the winter months?
It’s something I’m battling right now. I’m not a cold weather person. Ironically, I went to college where it could be -30 in January. Why I chose to do that, I don’t know but I also don’t regret it. This year, I’ve enjoyed most of my runs and enjoy the feeling of getting out there (even if out there is to the treadmill).
Here are a couple of tips to enjoy running during colder months:
If it’s too cold, run inside. This could mean purchasing a gym membership or treadmill. There is no shame in running indoors when it’s too cold, dangerous or miserable. I wrote about it recently, but a treadmill is a tool. It’s not bad, embarrassing, or shameful.
If you are running outside layer up. There are countless pieces of running apparel to keep you warm. People who train successfully through the winter months, wear appropriate clothing.
Now there are windbreakers, long sleeves, insulated tops, built in windbreaker leggings and just about anything you can imagine. Google can provide you with ideal layering techniques. Since I’m always ten jackets ahead of people, I prefer to wear more layers. What works for you, doesn’t work for everyone. It might be trial and error for figuring out the right amount of layers for different temperatures.
Running is lifelong:
One run is not going to make or break you. If you are truly sick of winter running, don’t force yourself to run through the winter. Find alternatives that aren’t going to miserable. Get a gym membership and try new workouts and cross trianing Cross training will only make you stronger, plus help burnout.
Finally, as a public service announcement: don’t try and run fast on ice (run indoors if it’s icy). No run is worth falling and hurting yourself on ice. I would know since I slipped and fell in a parking lot in college. I ended up breaking my arm.
Questions for you:
How do you enjoy winter running?
What are your favorite pieces winter gear?