TRACK AND FIELD TRAINING
By, Mike Mazzaccaro
After several teeth chattering runs, bone-chilling, pink-cheeked runs, I decided to write down some of the best tips and tricks for winter running that I’ve learned and heard over the years.
Make it Fun!
Run with your friends. Nothing makes a 50-minute run, in freezing weather, better than having some friends to push through the misery with you.
Find new places to run. The winter is a great time to go exploring. Often, your go-to runs are too snowy or icy to be used. This makes the winter a great time to find some fun road loops that can provide new but reliable training
Pick a fun place to finish. Find a loop that finishes at your favorite coffee shop. Instead of finishing and having to hop into a cold car you can settle down with a hot chocolate or warm cup of coffee before the ride home.
Layer, Layer, Layer. Layers are the key to running in the cold. For a long time, I only ran in cotton long sleeves in the winter. This often meant I was cold at the start, sweating in the middle, and frozen wet by the end. Be smart and pick a bottom layer that wicks away moisture.
Know thy self. My college roommate could run in 25F weather with a long sleeve, shorts, and a baseball cap. Personally, my hands and ears go numb at any temperature below 40F. As a result, I always have a spare hat and gloves (socks) laying around. It’s important to know what YOU need to make sure you’re worried about the effort of your run not if your ears are going to fall off.
Hydration is key in the summer. Hydration is key in the winter. Hydration is key all the time. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. We tend to worry about our water consumption less in the winter as its much colder out and we tend to sweat less but, because of this we drink less water and are often dehydrated.
Watch for Injuries
Often, as a result of the winter weather, people change where they run. If there has been snow on the ground for 3 weeks forcing you to run on roads for the same amount of time be aware of this. The roads are a lot harder on your body than grassy trails. As a result, maybe pair back your mileage and replace some of that mileage with cross training such as biking or swimming.
The cold also means you have to warm up longer! Whether this means starting off runs a little slower or changing your warm-up from 5 to 10 minutes make sure your muscles and tendons are ready to go before you put them to work in cold weather.
Know the Elements
Be creative.When it’s windy and cold out, sometimes splits and times go out the window so it’s important to focus on effort as the temperature drops. Maybe substitute some fartleks in for timed intervals
Start into the wind. Maybe I’m alone on this but I much prefer the first 20 minutes of my run into the wind than the final 20.
If you have any good tips or tricks for winter running let us know in the comment section