How to Love Winter Running

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I have a love / hate relationship with running. Right now I’m feeling pretty amorous about it (maybe that’s the holiday season putting me in good spirits?), so I’m taking advantage of the feeling and running running running!

Here in Winnipeg, it’s around -20 to -30 degrees C around this time of year. The cold and the snow would be reason enough to stop running, but since I’m enjoying it so much, I really don’t want to stop! That being said, it would be easy to get frustrated and annoyed with winter running if I weren’t taking measures to enjoy it to the utmost. Winter running means it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s slippery… so with that in mind, here are a few steps to take so that YOU can love winter running, too:

  1. Don’t go it alone. It would be much harder to actually follow through with winter running if Mr Science wasn’t there to run circles around with me. Finding an exercise buddy can make all the difference to ensuring you actually get outside, which is the first step.
  2. Dress appropriately. Wear layers. Wear too many layers, to begin with, if you’re unsure of how to dress (it’s far better, in these types of temperatures, to be a little too warm than a little too cold!). I like to wear my hoorag to keep my head and ears warm. Since my windbreaker is sleeveless, I make a point of wearing my bright pink sparkly Wildskins arm warmers underneath a long-sleeved base layer for extra protection on my forearms.
  3. Have a back-up plan. Mr Science and I check the weather in the evening to determine if it’s too cold to go running. “Too cold” is generally between -25 and -30 with the windchill (depending on how badass and tough we’re feeling). If it’s too cold to go running, we do a 30-minute yoga session from YogaDownload.com instead. Always having some kind of exercise to do first thing in the morning keeps us on track, gets us energized for the day, and also ensures that we don’t fall off the wagon!
  4. Start slow and short. Don’t worry too much about distance and speed at this time of year, especially if you’re a beginner runner. The important thing is that you’re having fun! As long as winter running is something you want to do, and you’re out there doing it, that’s all that counts. Be careful with that ice and snow – it can be slippery, and it’s better to take it easy than to hurt yourself.

What are your tips for winter running? Is it something you enjoy? Are you going to try winter running this year? Share in the comments section below!

5 Comments

    • Ooh YES.

      I get asked ALL THE TIME in the winter: “do you STILL walk to work in -35?!”

      The answer is “yes.” Partly because I like walking. Mostly because exercise puts me in a better mood for the day. And eing surrounded by strangers on the bus would make me cranky. I need my “me” space AND exercise first thing in the morning – walking is just the thing! ;)

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