Running Tips: Getting Outside in Winter

Posted on Feb 05, 2016

Posted in: Running Tips

Running Tips: Getting Outside in Winter

How do you keep yourself going in the winter?  Do you switch to the treadmill for most of your runs?  Do you just tiptoe over the ice and hope for the best?  Most runners prefer running outside, even in the coldest temperatures.  If you are a winter runner, then there are a few things you can do to optimize your experience.

First, when the weather is cold, you forget about hydration.  At first it seems like you will sweat less, but then you warm up and are sweating buckets.  Forgetting to hydrate can leave you feeling sick.  Try wearing a water belt to carry a few ounces of water on long runs.  Also try setting water out on your route every few miles.  Rather than drive around and stash water, text a couple friends and say, “Hey, Denise, mind putting a cup of water on your porch this am?”  It works great and is a fun little break!

The next thing to think about is your running form.  Running on snow and ice is a great time to reinforce fast cadence.  A slow cadence is synonymous with a heavy heel strike and big push off.  Both things will make you more likely to fall on the ice!  Work on striking softly and avoid an aggressive push-off.

Lastly, the best winter running tool is appropriate shoe wear.  The biggest concern with winter running is traction.  Winter specific shoes tend to have extra traction AND be water proof with Gortex.  There are many winter-specific running shoes such as Brooks Adrenaline and Saucony Exodus, which feature Gortex uppers and aggressive treads.  A trail shoe, such as the Brooks Cascade, might also be a good choice.  It has great traction for winter conditions if you are willing to forgo the Gortex for the increased comfort.  For days that are quite snowy, Yaktrax are a great option.

Run safely and have a great weekend!

Winter running