Winter running is invigorating. It is strength training, endurance training and makes you tougher. By working Mother Nature’s elements into your training program, you will be a stronger runner.
Winter training is beautiful. Take your camera phone with you to capture the sun glistening off the snow-covered trees, creating your own picture postcard. Being the first one to plant a footprint on the fresh snow is like you are the leader for all those that follow. It gives you a feeling that is hard to describe. Yet, I can understand a small portion of how George Armstrong must have felt when he took those first steps on the moon. Incredible!
Approach winter running with the attitude that Mother Nature is your training partner and not your enemy. A tough winter workout also does double duty for you―the miles provide endurance and the winter weather builds your strength and fortitude boosting your running training program.
To run against 35-50 km/hr. head winds with ice pellets striking your face builds courage. While you are pushing through the wind, you are working harder just to move forward. You are getting a strength workout.
Beating all this hardship can give you some of your most rewarding runs. Some of the best jogging experiences I have had were during winter runs. Your running times from these outings will not be great. Time is not the point of these running workouts.
Running in winter requires that you dress for the conditions of that day. Use layers of clothing, which provides insulation from the air between the layers. How many layers you need depends on the temperature, the winds or wind chill and your own comfort level.
As a guideline to cold weather running, I add an outer windbreaker shell when it is at a wind chill of about -8°C.
Winter running is your chance to beat the winter blues. When others complain of the endless winter, you are out there getting sun, creating Vitamin D and boosting your training, all the while you are conquering a former foe.