If you haven't been been perusing instagram or facebook, you may have missed that it's been an abundantly cold and SNOWY winter thus far. Thank goodness for social media. Who needs windows in their house anymore? I can lie in bed and find out what kind of weather to expect for the day simply by logging into facebook!
I have mixed feelings when it comes to winter running. I'm personally a fan of cold-weather running and I log some of my best miles when the temperature is below 32 degrees. At the same time, I don't like the shorter window of daylight to run in, or having to mess with snowy or icy roads.
I'm not an expert and I am certainly NOT the authority on running. I'm not the blog to read if you want the top of the line tips for running- winter or no winter.
But trial and error has taught me a lot of what NOT to do.
1. Don't run in the cold if you have a cold.
Be smart and if you're feeling any small symptom of a cold -- don't run outside. It's not worth sacrificing your health in order to get your run in. Running should make you healthier not LESS healthy. If your throat has just a tinge of a scratch when you leave on your run- chances are you will return from your run unable to swallow.
2. Don't Negotiate.
"If I leave work and a red car drives by westbound on Pioneer street while my phone rings and I find 25 cents on the ground outside of my car: I will go for a run." No, just no. It's a mental struggle to get out and get those legs moving. But don't give in and negotiate with yourself. Commit to your miles and do it.
3. Don't underdress.
This will be different for each runner. Don't skimp. Better to peel off a layer mid-run than to be miserable the entire time! And sunglasses more important than ever! The sun and snow are a blinding combination.
I do enough running that I use more than one pair of shoes. I rotate through each pair, so some have more miles left in them than others. The roads and streets are GROSS this time of year so I like to use my shoes that have the fewest miles left in them, so that my newer shoes stay nicer longer. This may be entirely vain, but I am picky about the condition of my shoes so I like knowing that I'm not getting my best pair of shoes nasty while out frolicking through the slush.
5. Don't compare your mileage/temperatures to other runners.
Some people run in -30 degree weather. Others run through 1.5 foot snow. And then there are runners who run with a 75 pound pack on their back on a sheet of ice while being chased by a herd of buffalo while wearing only their running shoes and eating skittles. To each their own. The point is- log your miles, run YOUR run and don't measure yourself by any other standard than your own.
6. Don't be such a loner.
I love to run alone, but during the winter I try to get a friend to run with me. I'm much less likely to skip it if I have someone counting on me and motivating me to get out and get it done. An added bonus is that these runs can turn into snowball fights!!
7. Don't forget to put up a photo on instagram.
Running in the cold is tough- CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENT!! It's a challenge mentally and physically and celebrate your dedication.
What are your cold-weather-running NO-NO's??