Training for a race in the winter? Then you probably feeling just a bit nervous about how you are going to make it through all the training runs in the cold and the snow.
But it is possible to continue to run throughout the winter months. Many runners start training in the winter for spring races. This is a great way to beat those wintertime blues and stick to goals set in the new year.
You just need to have the right gear and the knowledge to know when it’s time to bring that run indoors for the day.
Winter Training 101
Get The Gear
Fleece-lined tights are always a good option when the temperature drops.
Make sure to also have gloves, and a hat, as well as a neck gaiter or buff.
Wear reflective gear in low-light situations.
Invest in trail running shoes for extra traction when there is a snowfall or traction devices made specifically for this very reason.
Break Up The Run
It’s okay to split up the run a few hours apart in order to run safely outside. This might be running five miles in the morning before snow falls and five miles after the roads are cleaned up. Sometimes it means waiting to finish the next day, so be mindful of how to break it up.
This is a great strategy for getting through runs on the treadmill. Splitting it up makes it less boring by shortening the time needed to be on the machine.
Use The Gym
Because of poor weather like a snowstorm that makes it impossible to go out a run, now is the time to get that gym membership for the treadmill. The good news is most gyms offer discounted memberships with the start of the new year.
Some find it harder to run on the treadmill, but it’s the best alternative to running outdoors when it’s just too cold, icy or snowy.
You will get used to it over time. Take advantage of the gym’s tv screens, listen to a podcast or play with speed and inclines to make the run fly by.
If possible, run later in the day when the sun is out and the temperature is warmer compared to the early morning and night.
Use the previous tips and head to the gym and cross train in the morning or night and then make the adjustment to run mileage when the weather is milder mid-day.
Speaking of making adjustments, it’s important to be flexible when training for a race in the winter.
This means being able to switch days for runs with cross training or rest days when need be. Keep an eye out for weather reports and try to plan for the week in advance.
Know How Cold Is Too Cold
This really depends on the person. Some find they can run in the 30s, whereas others can run even colder. Just make sure to dress accordingly.
Limit long runs when the weather is freezing and make these short run days.
Have an extra change of clothing in the car to immediately change into dry, warm clothes after a winter run outdoors.
Once you get home, shower immediately to warm up. Then have a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate, which is great for recovery. Soup or chili is also a great post-workout fuel option.
What tips do you have for winter training?