It can't always be sunny and 55 degrees outside. So for all those days when you're feeling like you'd rather stay inside and sip hot tea than go for a run, I've got some advice for you:
- Check the weather every day - I know it's a pain, but you'll thank yourself when you know you avoided knocking all your teeth out on the ice.
- Invest in the right gear - waterproof shoes, micro spikes, thick leggings, a decent jacket, gloves, an ear warmer, and a neck gaiter. When the weather gets tough, you're clothes need to get tough too.
- If you're running after work, bring a light of sorts - I put a small headlamp in the pocket of my jacket, just in case it gets dark while I'm out.
- Wear sunglasses - light reflects off snow; protect your eyes. Here are my favorite sunnies.
- Bring your phone & store it somewhere warm - for safety's sake, bring your phone. That way if you do happen to slip you can call for help. Also, I've found that my phone dies when it gets too cold, so I store mine in a pocket that's inside my jacket.
- Run with friends - for safety and for fun.
- Go slow - especially over ice. Take small, very vertical steps (rather than wide, forward-pressing steps). Don't feel embarrassed if you need to walk it. If it's snowy, generally expect your pace to be slower than normal.
- Get to know paths - know which ones are generally cleared and avoid ones that aren't well-maintained
- Learn to love the treadmill - while it's not the best, it's way better than the weather alternative sometimes. To make the tread suck less, here are some great shows you can watch while you're grinding it out.
- Don't forget to hydrate - even though you might not be sweating like you do on a summer run, your body still needs water. Drink a glass before you go out, and carry a bottle with you if you're running long. Note: hydration pack straw tubes often freeze when it's really cold. Opt for a bottle instead of a pack.
And here are some valuable resources for winter running:
- Runner's World What to Wear Tool - This is a super useful tool. I use it all the time.
- The Newbie Guide to Running When It's Cold
- 10 Tips for Making Winter Running Less Miserable
- How Cold is Too Cold to Run?
- 6 Tips for Trail Running in the Snow
- Running on Snow and Ice
- 7 Tips for Running on Snowy and Icy Trails
- Dealing with the Cold, Ice, & Snow