Running in the winter brings plenty of challenges. However, it is possible to make winter running feel easier, more comfortable, and even enjoyable.
Dress in Layers
Cold weather running means that most runners start feeling freezing cold, but we end up sweating midway. Especially running with intense cold wind, we need to wear the proper running gear. Dressing in layers is a simple and easy way to stay comfortable throughout any run. Once our body warms up, we will be able to shed some layers, with easy access to them should the wind pick up or we start to get chilled.
WHAT TO WEAR AND DO WHEN RUNNING IN COLD WEATHER
Cover Your Head, Face, Neck And Hands
If there’s any area that beginners should prioritize while running in cold weather, it’s the head, neck and hands. When selecting gear, we should adequately cover our head, face neck, and hands as needed during a run. Keeping these areas covered with help avoid heat escaping and protect vulnerable areas from any cold or intense cold wind.
Perform a Dynamic Warm Up
Dynamic Warm Ups are important for running at any time of year, but especially in the winter. Squeezing in a few dynamic warm up exercises indoors before running will get our muscles warm and loosened before heading out into the cold.
Lengthen Your Running Warm Up
Another strategy to help ease the transition as we start a run in the cold is to lengthen our warm up. We should spend more time running a slower pace at the beginning for a good warm up, easy pace before diving in to any speed or pace goals for the run.
Focus On Easier, Maintenance Running
Although training for PR’s and specific goals during the winter is certainly possible, it is a great time to focus on simply maintaining fitness. Running easier during the winter temperature and cold wind, can still provide many benefits, as this easier running pace still involves varying terrain, extra resistance from wind, and plenty of calories burned. We will still stay fit.
Adjust For Windy Weather
Running in ice and snow might have a bad reputation for winter running, but in other countries without ice and snow, the biggest obstacle usually comes from the wind. Windy conditions, on top of already frigid temperatures, create quite an intense challenge for runners.
Always check the weather ahead of time and adjust the temperature for wind. On exceptionally windy days, prepare to run based on effort and not pace. Running into the intense wind will likely result in a slower pace, even though our body is exerting the same amount of effort as our usual running speed.
Stay Dry With Waterproof Gear
Running in the winter often involves quite a bit of trial and error, especially when it comes to gear. To avoid ending a run feeling wet and cold, it’s important to invest in a few pieces of high-quality, waterproof gear. We should focus on good waterproof shoes and a jacket to keep the most vulnerable areas dry.
Don’t Forget To Hydrate
It’s easy to remember to drink water or electrolytes during a hot run, but in the winter, we may not feel as thirsty. Even if we slow our speed, we will still need to hydrate during our workout. We should consider drinking on a schedule if we find it hard to remember to drink.
Incorporate Regular Cross Training
Winter running season will likely involve shorter outdoor runs than other seasons. However, avoiding a loss or plateau in fitness is relatively easy. Simply increasing our cross training to compensate for shortened or missed runs will help our body stay in peak running shape all season.
Use The Treadmill For Speed
When outdoor running conditions get too intense, taking intervals and speed workouts to the treadmill will be super-efficient to support our running speed. Rather than running for long periods of time on the treadmill, we can use it for quick, easy intervals to supplement our easy runs.
Start With Hand Warmers
Another useful trick for runners when running in the winter is to start with hand warmers. Ensuring that our hands are warm right from the start will help ease some of the discomfort that comes with initially stepping outside.
Regardless of how motivated and excited we feel to start running in the winter, the challenges usually arise a week or two into the journey. As time passes, the initial motivation starts to fade and it’s much easier to focus on the discomforts of winter running. We should wear some comfortable running winter gloves.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO STAY MOTIVATED TO CONTINUE ALL SEASON.
How to Stay Motivated Running in the Winter
With a little preparation, determination, and these simple tricks, you’ll stay motivated to continue running in the winter all season long.
Set concrete goals
Track your progress
Run with a friend
Adjust according to weather
Listen to music or podcasts
Run based on effort, not pace
Sign up for a race
Focus On Good Winter Running Gear, Perform Super Good Pre-Run Warm Up, Tolerate A Slower Pace During Intense Cold Wind, Appreciate To Be Able To Keep Running In The Cold Weather, Enjoy Some Good Runs!