The Joys of Winter Training
And how to manage them
As we’ve recently found ourselves deep into the heart of the winter season (and as many parts of the country experiencing relatively extreme winter weather) we figured a post about managing winter training was probably well overdue. But, here it is anyways. A few tips from East by West on how to stay safe this winter and make the most of training in the cold months, even if that means just getting through.
- Dress in layers — Wearing more thin layers is often better than wearing fewer thick layers because it adds more flexibility in terms of temperature regulation.
- Buy a lightweight running windbreaker — Period. This piece of running gear is one of the best and most versatile options for the winter season. Not only will it cut the wind, keeping you warmer without adding additional weight, but it also retains body heat better than other cotton layers (again, without adding more or thicker layers). Hopefully you’re starting to see a theme here…
- Ice spikes — If you live in an area that gets a lot of iced-over roads/paths, investing in a pair of running ice spikes for your shoes in a must. While these don’t do too much in snow, they are a no brainer for running safely on icy mornings.
- Check the weather — As if we runners needed another thing to obsess over. We’re not suggesting everyone should become a freelance meteorologist, but keeping up to date with the weather forecast in your area can save you a lot of frustration by knowing how to dress for your outdoor runs and which days to plan to stay inside.
- Run indoors — This year is a bit different due to COVID, but if you have access to use a treadmill safely then take advantage of that resource on the worst weather days. Your coach should be able to adjust your training schedule/workouts as needed to account for this. A good podcast and a pair of headphones will also do wonders in making this more manageable.
- Implement more cross training — Depending on where you live there can be a lot of good alternatives to running during bad weather. So long as you approach this in a smart way, you also won’t lose running fitness moving forward. If anything you might find a new activity that you enjoy and benefits your running! Talk with your coach about options and how to integrate this into your training.
- Be smart and be careful — Know when to scratch a run or workout. While the appropriate gear can get you through some of the worst conditions, there’s no replacement for common sense. Know your own ability and preparation, and be honest with yourself and your coach about when you don’t feel safe running outside. Sometimes all it takes is one bad step on an icy patch of road to end a season!
Stay safe out there and have fun!