Running in the Winter
Well hello there!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend! I had more a of a low-key one as I spent a lot of time getting writing done and spending time with friends and family.
Last week was my first training session with my new coach. It was a fabulous group of local athletes and the first session involved 1 minute repeats around sharp corners with a lot of ice.
It had me thinking about the safest way to train outdoors doing the winter because you are absolutely using more stabilizers in your hips than you would on a trail or dry pavement when you are running quickly on ice.
As an outdoor runner, I prefer to run outdoors whether it is a sunny day or a snow storm, but that certainly finds me adjusting my training plans to ensure that I maximize the benefits while still allowing for unpredictable weather.
I have a nice warm running jacket, winter running gloves and I just bought a great new running headband this weekend, because my old one just wasn’t cutting it anymore!
2. Get proper footwear.
I am anxiously awaiting my new pair of inov8 winter running spikes that I ordered last week. They are water resistant and have small spikes in the bottom of the shoe that grip ice and snow. Interval training will have nothing on me now!
3. Cross train with similar exercises.
We have had a fabulous winter so far with loads of snow. I have taken full advantage and have been outdoors trying out my cross country skies on lovely afternoons.
4. Be seen.
One thing I find I combat more than usual is the fading daylight. I try to wear light coloured clothing and reflective gear as the days are short and it often finds me training in the dark.
5. Stretch well post-run.
It is easy for your muscles to cool down quickly when you are training outside. I try to get indoors as quickly as possible post-run and begin a cool-down and stretching session to make sure I have a quick recovery and gradual cool down.
I have dealt with a bit of frostbite this winter, but other than that, training outdoors has been a great experience. I am aware of the fact that I will not be able to run as fast due to the cold air and ice and adjust my expectations accordingly.
It has been a great time for me to explore other forms of cross training such as swimming, snowboarding, yoga, biking and climbing.
What are your tricks for training outdoors during the cold winter months?