10 Secrets: A Runner’s guide to winter running

Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to run a 5K run by summer. I want to accomplish this goal by August and to continue running at least twice a week for the entire year.

I want to get my body used to working out again and to increase my stamina just like how it was back when I was an athlete. I just want to achieve an overall healthier and more active lifestyle, and I believe that these goals are very much achievable. Like many of you who have put this to be your goals for this year, we’re all pretty much well into our third week of working out (good job!).

One of the ways that I am keeping up with my fitness routine is running; I love running! Though if you were to tell me a few years back that I am a runner, I would say, “You’ve got to be kidding, right?”. I despised running back then or anything to do with the word cardio, as a matter of fact. I used to play volleyball for a league, so I would get my cardio in when I play, but having to run voluntarily? Hell no.

It wasn’t until at least 4–5 years ago that when I read more about the benefits of what a good run can do for you that I decided that I should see how I can make running work for me.

Now, I am thankful that I was able to convince myself to take up running because it actually turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done for my physical, emotional and mental health. Running has saved me

from my worst days of my life because I was able to release my stress and anxiety through it, and it has helped me achieve a happier and stronger mindset. I can talk to you more about the benefits of a good run in another post, because it can really change your life.

I’m here to talk to you about how you can incorporate running into your workout routine. Running in the winter is just as rewarding as running in the spring and summer months, though you just need to keep a few things in mind.

Tips on how to get a good run in during winter:

Run when the weather is good

There are good days and bad days during the winter months. Some days are warmer and that is when it is best to go out and run. When the temperature rises usually from negative one to high positives, that’s when you should take advantage of it.

Dress in light but warm layers During winter, the usual rule is to wear warm thick clothing and dress in layers, but it is different when you run. When you dress for a run, it’s best to wear long sleeve shirts that are breathable, and can absorb your sweat. Layer that on with a thin sports jacket, and warm workout pants. Remember that you will be sweating, and you will run quite warm. So if you put on too many layers, you’re going to want to take them off.

Give yourself a motivation Usually running in winter is hard for a lot of people but it is not impossible. The cold and chilly temperature will lure you into staying inside under your blanket where it’s warm, but do not listen to that voice. Give yourself a reward for stepping out of that door, and accomplishing your run and just know that a lot of people would have given up by now, but not us.

Wear the right shoes

You need shoes that will keep your toes warm, and the gross cold slush out. Find shoes that have the least amount of mesh, and wear socks that wick away wetness, but keep your feet warm.

Run when the sun is out

With the colder months come less daylight, and chances are you’ll be running in the dark if you don’t hurry up. Run during the day so you can get your dose of vitamin D and a boost of endorphins (That’s because exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands!I hope you know where that quote is from, otherwise this just got awkward)

Warm up pre-run

The cold won’t feel cold if you’re warm (smart right?). I usually run up and down my staircase about 10–15 times, or I jump rope for 10 min to warm up. Do whatever you need to do to get your heart rate up and get you warmed up for your run.

Beat the wind Start your run towards the wind and then finish your run with it. This also helps you from getting a blast of cold air after a good sweat.

Change as soon as you finish your run Your temperature drops as soon as you finish your run. So do your post-run stretches and take your clothes off to hop in the shower as soon as you can. You cannot hang out in your sweaty clothes because you will get chilly the longer you hang out in your old clothes. It also helps to drink a hot beverage afterwards to warm you up.

Run inside

If you have a treadmill or can go to a gym, it is best to do your cardio inside where you are free from the cold. This can also guarantee that you do not miss a run during the week even if the weather doesn’t permit it.

Wear bright clothes Wear reflective, fluorescent gear especially if you have to run when it is darker outside. Light yourself up like a freaking Christmas tree sweetie, because you want people to see you especially if you’re going to be running when it’s dark. Wear head pieces with a flashlight or bring a flashlight with you so you know where you are heading.

I hope some or all of these tips will help you during your winter runs. I also hope that for some of you reading this, that you will go on a run. It truly is one of the most challenging and the most rewarding things you will ever do. For you guys who have fitness and running as one of your goals this year, just know that it is 100% possible; you can absolutely do it. Just keep pushing one foot after the other and do not stop even if your body keeps telling you so. Tell yourself that you can keep pushing and you’d be surprised by what you can accomplish. I am so proud of you.

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