Winter Running Tips
Hey Friends – can you believe it’s already Thursday? This week flew by and I’m sooo excited for this weekend!
Today I want to talk about winter running. Now, I know that we don’t have the worst winter running weather here in Southern California (by a long shot, ha!) but I spent all of middle school, high school, winter breaks during college and the year we lived in MA 3 years ago running through cold, snowy New England winters. It can be hard to stay motivated through the long winter months but if you stick with it, you will see major dividends come spring/summer racing season. I hope the following winter running tips will help keep you motivated and running through these next couple of months, especially if you live somewhere cold and snowy!
FIND A FRIEND/FRIENDS THAT WILL BRAVE THE COLD WEATHER TO RUN OUTSIDE WITH YOU
When Henri and I were living in Massachusetts a few years ago I had two running buddies that were always down to run together outside, no matter how cold, icy or snowy it was.
Having these two girls to run with always helped get me up and out the door for our runs when the last thing I wanted to do was go outside. We did countless long runs together and I will never forget the time we ran past a snow drift that actually turned out to be a car covered in snow!
As runners I feel like one thing we all love is being outside, so getting out for your runs as often as possible is soooo important for your mental attitude towards running and I’ve personally found that it helped keep up my motivation level!
DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WEATHER YOU ARE RUNNING IN
LAYERS are crucial here! When I would run in weather approaching zero degrees I was all about the layers – it wasn’t uncommon for me to be wearing 3 layers on top – long sleeve shirt + sweatshirt + windbreaker. The scarf/gator, hat combo so only your eyes are showing is also clutch!
I prefer running in mittens over gloves, especially when it gets REALLY cold out, because the mittens keep most of my fingers together, keeping each other warm. When I wear gloves I find that my fingers are much colder! My absolute favorite mittens for running are these Gordini Stash Lite Touch Mitts. They are super warm but also lightweight AND you can use your phone/touch screen watch while wearing them!
AVOID ACCIDENTS/INJURIES BY RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL WHEN THE CONDITIONS ARE UNSAFE
Some days it is just not possible to run outside, whether due to extremely low temperature or unsafe footing. When this is the case, accept your fate and run on the treadmill. Make it fun by watching one of your favorite shows or listening to a podcast or Audiobook that you’ve been meaning to listen to. You can check out my other tips to beating treadmill boredom here.
Varying your pace and incline on the treadmill is another good way to make the time pass quicker. If you’re stuck on the treadmill and looking for a fun workout to pass the time check out my treadmill incline workout or my rolling hills treadmill workout.
IF YOU’RE DOING A LOT OF TREADMILL RUNNING – MAKE SURE TO DO ANCILLARY EXERCISES TO ENGAGE YOUR GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS
Treadmills are a great option when you simply cannot get outside to run but the way they are designed makes a few alterations to your running form – most notably its harder to engage your glutes and hamstrings while running on the treadmill. 3 years ago when I spent a lot of my winter runs on the treadmill I got injured a few weeks after the weather took a turn for the better because I was not engaging my glutes at all and my hip suffered for it. To prevent this from happening to YOU make sure to incorporate ancillary exercises that engage your glutes and hamstrings into your winter training! Squats, clamshells, donkey kicks, mini-band exercises, lunges, box step ups, etc. are all great options of things to be doing!
What is the weather like where you live right now?
Do you love winter running or hate it? I love it for a short amount of time but living through a whole winter of serious winter running is TOUGH!