We are in full-fledged winter mode, and even though the temperatures might be frigid, or you've got snow or ice to deal with, that shouldn't put a halt to your running. It surely didn't for North Bay's Kristin Franks (pictured above).
The duathlon/triathlon race season will be here before you know it, and the work needs to be done now so that you are ready to rock those early season races (especially marathons or half marathons), or to get in that base for those mid to late summer races.
So here are a few tips/ideas for running in our Winter Wonderland.
1. Dress well.
As much as we might dread the thought of heading out to run in minus 20 or less wind chill temperatures, with the proper gear and layering, you can moderate body temperatures in the cold a whole lot more than in the heat. Make sure to get some excellent wind breaking tops, bottoms, a wicking hat, and gloves that can handle extreme cold. These items might be higher priced but well worth the money.
2. Be aware.
Don’t be aggressive out there. Assume that drivers do not see you, and look ahead to anticipate people pulling out of their driveways or and approach stop signs with some caution - for some drivers, stopping seems to be an option. You should also look ahead to anticipate icy patches, uneven snow packed surfaces, etc. It is so easy to go down or roll an ankle if you are not paying attention. In addition, if you listen to music, books or podcasts when you run consider going without, or turn down the volume (since the sound will be better contained because you will likely be wearing a hat).
It is easy to ignore hydrating and fuelling in the winter but make a conscious effort to do so because it is no less important, especially those long runs. In fact, you will likely be burning off more calories due to the cold and the extra clothing you are toting around. Plus, your run will be much more enjoyable when you are properly fuelled.
Regular running or trail shoes with a great tread will be fine. But there are great options for winter specific shoes with Gore-Tex shoes that will keep you warm and dry, and treads with spikes for extra grip for icy conditions which will allow you to tackle any conditions. If you love your winter running, these will enhance your experience.
5. Keep track of what you wear.
Write down in your training log what you wear and how it felt in those conditions. Doing this will make clothing selection much easier and effective. If you know what works for you in certain temperatures and wind, just wear what worked last time. You can save a lot of time doing this.
Hopefully, with these tips, you won’t let the cold deter you from running outdoors. Plus, shouldn't we be enjoying the beauty of nature and what Canada has to offer?