Winter Running Tips

It's cold. Sure, not as cold as Alaska when I lived there, but still cold. It snows too. Not always as much as this year and not as much as other places, but we get it. This year quite a bit of it, relatively speaking. Ice. It's everywhere. I've only gone running in temps as low as 13* this year. I've also bypassed running when the roads have been excessively crappy which seems like a lot. I used to run no matter what, but then I broke my foot. That taught me to be more of a fair-weather runner - or at least less stupid about running. Winter running isn't just about the clothing you wear - although that makes it manageable - it's about being safe and following rules differently.

Wearing the right clothes is important. Breathable, wicking layers. You DO sweat, even when your eyelashes are freezing. Layering the right amount, using disposable hand warmers (a must for me), and investing in some Yak Tracks goes a long way. Finding a light system that works for you - blinking lights, reflective tape, and a light with a high lumen output. No matter what, when temperatures plummet, I always feel like the kid in A Christmas Story when he can barely move with his stay puff marshmallow snowsuit. For me, winter running is slower. Icy, snowy roads, much darker mornings and evenings and layers all make for slow going. Don't get discouraged. Just log some mileage and embrace the beauty that is so unique in winter. Here are some winter running tips and my thoughts when I'm out in the cold temps:

  • Holy crap it's cold. Seriously, who runs in this weather?! The women I meet at 5:20 that's who. If they can do it, I can do it.
  • I don't want to do this. I'm crazy. I like big butts and I cannot lie... No, I don't like big butts if it's MY butt that's big. I need to run. 
  • I need the outlet, I need the outlet, I need the outlet. This run will decompress me. I'll be less stressed. I'll feel so good when it's done.
  • Do these hand warmers even work?  Why can't I feel my fingers?
  • My water is frozen. Even my water is rebelling cold weather
  • Ice, ice!  Don't fall. Please don't fall. Tiptoes!
  • It's so dark. Is that black ice or a pothole? Is my headlamp working? I can't see anything. Lumens. It's all about the lumens. I need a new light.
  • Wow. Look at the stars. It's so clear out. It's so quiet. The dark is so peaceful. It's beautiful
  • Pothole!!!! Nope - black ice! Do not fall!!!
  • I just ran into a tree. It's THAT dark out. A tree. Who puts a tree by the side of the road anyway?
  • I can't feel my hands. Or my feet. Or my legs. Even my butt is numb. There goes the theory that body fat keeps you warm..... Even my butt is cold.
  • My eyelashes are frozen. My nose hairs are frozen. I guess snot rocketing is easier
  • Wow!!  Already over 3 miles in! I'm feeling warmer. Why did I wear so much clothing? Geez, I'm sweating. I want to take my clothes off. Why would anyone wear so much clothing?
  • I took my jacket off. I'm freezing. Holy crap it's cold out. All my sweat froze and now I feel like a giant Popsicle.
  • Yak Trax are amazeballs!!!
  • We did 5 miles??!! Holy cow that went fast! I feel great! It's starting to get light out now. The stars are out, the sun is rising, this is going to be the best day ever!!! I'm so glad I ran. I'm a badass. I AM SPARTA!!!!
  • Oh, crap, more ice.....


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