Where are my Northeast Runners?! Unlike recent winters where it’s been easy to take a workout or two inside, or gear up for a quick jaunt outside, it feels like Mother Nature has worked against us this year; we’ve been betrayed. While the sights have been stunning, the cold and the lack of road sides/sidewalks have been…well, interesting.
With news of a new potential monster storm coming our way tomorrow night, I thought I’d use Fit Tip Tuesday to talk about running through it and surviving winter as a runner (note: my countdown to spring has started!). Check out some of the ideas below and share your own!
1. Gear Up
Duh. If you’re cold – i.e. freezing – your performance will suffer and you’ll wind up miserable. Without the right gear, staying comfortable outside isn’t possible. Dress as though it’s 10 degrees hotter than it is, and get moving. Some of my favorites?
Swirlgear: The running zip-ups created by Swirlgear…a company designed by women, for women, are a must have. Designed with warmth and performance in mind, they can be layered and serve as a base for any long run. The fun colors and unique designs are just added perks 🙂
The Northface: The Northface takes the cake for hats, running gloves and headbands. If your hands or ears are cold, forget about performance. I also stock up on single use handwarmers to keep inside my gloves, that warmth can go a long way.
Feetures!: The importance of good, cushioned, warm socks that pull moisture away from your feet cannot be understated! I’m a firm supporter of Feetures! brand’s Elite Merino socks that do a little more than standard ankle socks.
2. Psych Yourself Out
We’ve all heard the stat that running is only 10 percent physical, it’s 90 percent mental. This is super important when it feels like the arctic landed right outside your front door. Think warm, play warm music (I love some reggae when the weather drops below 35!). Tell yourself that you’re warm and concentrate on the beauty that surrounds you instead of your frozen (but not if they’re in the right socks!) toes. A little mental toughness can go a long way.
3. Know Your Route
Whether you travel the same running route day after day or mix it up, if you don’t know how it made out after the last storm, there can be unfortunate consequences. It’s an extra step, but taking the time to drive your route before running will alert you to any problems and allow you to map out a detour in advance. Make sure there’s adequate room on the side of the road that hasn’t been hindered by snow or ice drifts, check out sidewalk conditions and be sure you’re prepared well before you take the first step.
4. Carry a Phone
I’m a huge advocate of always running with a cell phone. Sure, it can be cumbersome. But, it can also be a lifesaver: women, this is especially true for us. Be sure you can call for help and that someone is on standby…every minute counts when it’s freezing outside. Be safe.
5. Run in Daylight
There’s nothing better than an early morning run, or an evening jaunt to clear away the stress of the day, but, when conditions aren’t perfect, it’s probably a bad idea. When drivers are trying to focus on the roads, you’re an afterthought. Practice caution by running in daylight, in bright colors.
6. Don’t Rule Out Taking it Inside
Sure, no one wants to put all their miles in on the “dreadmill,” but, sometimes it’s just the better thing to do. Look for treadmill workouts to mix up your routine and to make the time pass faster. Find a great movie to enjoy during the run and think about how nice it is to not be freezing. It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, but, if there’s a blizzard inside, the treadmill is still an excellent alternative.
There’s no one more ready for 80+ degree temperatures, but, we’ve got to find a way to get through, improve performances and, most importantly, stay safe in the meantime. What’s your go-to tip for running in less-than-perfect conditions?
NOTE: I am entered into ZOOMA’s Run to Napa contest, which depends on your vote! The winning blogger AND a reader (could be you!) will win a trip to Napa for the ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon in June. Right now, I’m in third place, and would appreciate daily votes through February 24! LINK!