We are approaching 2023 in a few weeks and the weather all across the country is making us all well aware that winter is HERE! I was getting ready for a long run this past Sunday morning and I had a long debate in my head about whether to run outside or to run on a treadmill indoors either at my house or at the YMCA. The debate in my own head became very intense and heated! In the end, the decision was made to run outside and it was a great decision. I ran longer than I ever would have done inside and with the fresh air and winter wonderland around me, it was much more enjoyable. Was it cold? Of course, but only for a few minutes. Here are some tips/advice about running in the winter.
1) Invest in a few pieces of warm clothes. A pair of running tights, running gloves, and a thermal headband go a long way. You can spend tons of money on all sorts of cold weather gear, but if you keep it basic on a couple of key items, you will be fine. Also, remember the cold is worst right at the start - it only gets better as you run and your body will warm up soon.
2) We all need fresh air, even in the winter months. Running outside for even 30 minutes will rejuvenate and refresh your body and soul. It's easy to stay indoors all day during the winter, but take that extra step for a few minutes to get some air and sunshine. Take some deep breathes and relish the outdoors. Embrace the shiver!
3) Focus on time, not pace. Running outdoors in the colder months is not the time to try to set a PR. As I did the other day, you might have to run around snow banks, or take it slow when you take some steps into some snow. You won't have as much access to sidewalks, or roads, or running trails with potential snow on the ground so don't worry about going fast. Wait until the Spring to focus on speed.
4) If it's icy - stay inside. While running outside is great for many reasons, there are just some days that running on a treadmill is the better choice. If there is any ice on roads, stay inside. It's not worth risking injury to go outside. I've heard of too many runners suffering injuries from slipping on ice. If you don't have a treadmill at home, get a membership at your local YMCA. Even if you are a member for a few months, it's worth the investment.
Get outside and enjoy running at all times of the year, including the winter! Happy running!