For those of us living in areas where we are experiencing winter weather, this can be a challenging time of year. Even though this winter has been “mild” it can still be tough to stay motivated when the days are short, there’s less sunlight, and it’s often cold, dreary, and windy. Let’s talk about how to survive and thrive during the winter running season!
I like to remind myself that winter running makes me appreciate running more during the other seasons. There is a lot that can be done during the winter months to help you prepare for a strong spring running season. It can also serve as an off-season to help you recover from a fall race. Or if you just like to keep at it all year long, that is an option too. You may just need to make some adjustments.
Try something new
Winter is a great time to try something new. Here are some ideas of workouts to keep you warm when it’s cold outside. There are many winter cross-training options, like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. You can stay inside and cross-train with a bike, elliptical, stairclimber, or pool. If you are getting tired of running in the cold, back off a bit and stay in shape with one of these other options a few times a week!
Embrace the Treadmill
The treadmill really isn’t so bad! In fact, it can be beneficial in some ways. It’s especially important to stay safe during the winter so if there is ice it’s better to stay indoors than risk an injury. You can try a progression run, intervals, or hills on the treadmill to help pass the time.
Ok, so maybe you have already opted to cross-train or use a treadmill. When the weather allows, it’s important to get outside for some fresh air! My goal is to get outside for a run or walk at least once a week during the winter. The fresh air really feels great even when it’s chilly out. If I’m going for a walk I try to go during the warmest time of the day.
Get the Right Gear
If you are going to brave the elements, its important to make sure you are prepared. Your run will be pretty miserable if you are underdressed or missing winter running gear. Here are some ideas for cold weather gear for winter running. I use a lot of my fall gear for winter running too. If it’s snowy or icy for your runs you might want to consider a pair of [amazon_textlink asin=’B007S3QY16′ text=’Yaktrax’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’milebymileblo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’24098b74-5c34-4c6b-becd-602ef769b30b’]. (affiliate link).
Let Go of Expectations
Try to give yourself a break this time of year. There are some winters that are so brutal that I find myself skipping many runs or working out indoors more than I would like. But it’s just one season. Try to do what you can, but adjust your expectations as needed. If you are training for a race and it’s important that you get in your workouts, try to come up with a plan for those days when the weather is not suitable for outdoor running. Swapping a cross-training day for an easy run will still allow you to get in some cardio, and may even allow your body to recover better so you are more prepared for your next run. If you are working with a running coach, they can help you adjust your schedule for winter weather.
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Many runners dread the winter, but it doesn’t need to be that way! Try to shift your perspective and think of it as an opportunity to take a break, try something new, or get in those cross-training workouts that you skip the rest of the year. You can survive and thrive during the winter running season!
Do you get outside regularly during the winter?
How do you make adjustments during the winter?
Do you cross-train more during a certain time of year?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, Running on Happy, and Faux Runner to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.
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