Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s shortened week is off to a good start so far!

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations Running

Since I’m finally getting back into a regular blogging routine this week, I thought I would get back to my regular Wellness Resource Wednesday posts (sort of). As we head into January and the heart of the cold, nasty winter months, I thought I would share some of my winter running tips. Winter running is not my favorite by any means, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I am not scared off by cold temps or crappy weather (as evidenced by Saturday’s run obviously). When I decided to sign up for a spring marathon, I knew I was setting myself up for some tough marathon training through a New England winter, so I figure I might as well embrace the situation as much as possible!Β Nevertheless, I’m still hopingΒ praying for a mild winter.

Tips and Tricks for winning at Winter Running

1. Do a quick warm-up indoors. You’ll want to minimize the amount of standing around in the freezing cold you do before you get running. Try some jumping jacks, high knees, and a few walking lunges to get your blood flowing. I always feel extremely stiff at the start of a run in the cold, but a quick dynamic warm-up easily solves that problem for me.

6 Miles | 2 Generations Running2. Plug your GPS watch in for a minute or two just before you need to use it (even if it’s fully charged). How much do you hate standing around outside in the freezing cold waiting for your GPS watch to find satellites? It sucks.

Tips and Tricks for Winning at Winter Running | 2 Generations Running^You, standing around waiting for your GPS to find signal.

And it defeats the whole purpose of the nice, little dynamic warm-up you did (if you followed Tip #1!) When you plug your watch in, it automatically finds a satellite connection, and it’ll maintain that connection when you unplug it and immediately go to use it. I learned about this from listening to the No Meat Athlete podcast, and I’ve been following this tip religiously on all my runs lately and it works great!

3. Wear the right gear (and layer up!). I’m pretty sure this tip appears in every single article and blog post that’s ever been written about winter running, but hey, it’s true. For Christmas, I received the Women’s Under Armour ColdGear running leggings, and they are seriously fantastic. I’ve gone on some rainy, cold runs wearing these and my legs always stay warm and dry through the whole run.

Women's UA ColdGear Running Leggings | 2 Generations RunningThese are also on sale right now! I’ve also heard really great things about the Brooks women’s Seattle Tights, which are waterproof and windproof… but also $165, so if that’s out of your price range, the Under Armour pair are a good option.

4. Pay close attention to the weather/temperature forecasts. In particular, pay attention to patterns in your own preferences. For example, I find that if it’s 32 degrees out or warmer, I don’t need to wear gloves. My hands might be a little cold starting out, but I would rather experience that than getting too hot and having to carry them for the rest of a long run. If you go on a run and find yourself sweating through your base layer, long-sleeve top, and heavy running jacket, make a note of what the temperature was, and remember to adjust for next time. A great rule of thumb is to plan on it feeling 20 degrees warmer than it actually is while you’re running. So, if the temp is in the 50s, I would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt because I know it’s going to feel like 70s.

5. If it’s raining or snowing, put your electronics in a plastic baggy to prevent them from biting the dust.Β I’ve killed an iPod on a particularly rainy run before, and there’s nothing that makes a gross run even worse than when it ruins an expensive piece of electronics. Or else, you’ll wind up trying to “fix” it.

Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running6. Don’t forget – everyone in their cars driving by is thinking you are the ultimate bada$$ out there in the snow and rain, getting in your run.

Tips and Tricks for Winter Running | 2 Generations RunningWhat are your tips for winter running? What’s the WORST weather you’ve ever experienced while on a run? Would you rather run in very cold temps or stay indoors and hit the treadmill?

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12 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running

  1. dgobs

    I definitely second the indoor warm up! Makes a huge difference. I also usually wear a pair of shorts over my tights because my bum gets freezing and I need all the help from layers I can get! I recently splurged on an Under Armour infared long-sleeve shirt that keeps me pretty toasty, and it’s long so it helps cover the buns too! My coldest run yet was a Thanksgiving run by the sea in Plymouth on a windy day… windchill in the single digits and man, that wind was fierce. I’ll usually brave the cold unless there is too much snow and ice, then I chicken out and use the treadmill.

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  2. This is great! If you don’t know “the rules” you should check them out – specifically rule #9 – If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period. The rules were written for cyclists, but they easily convert to running. I personally live by rule #5. Check them out here: http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/ – you’ll love that. I DID NOT KNOW THAT GARMIN TRICK OMG I NEED TO TRY IT AS SOON AS I GET MY NEW WATCH AHHHH! THANK YOU!!!

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    • OH MY GOD, these rules are hilarious!!! Hahaha, I think the running equivalent of rule #12 would be the correct number of pairs of running sneakers to wear is n+1 πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing these! And yes, the Garmin trick is so handy!!! I can’t wait to see which new watch you get, hope this still works for ya!

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  3. What a great writeup, Nora! Seems like you’ve found the rhythm you’re needing for a successful buildup to Delaware. The last winter I was actually healthy (2014) I spent on average 6 of 7 days per week on the hamster wheel or indoor track. You certainly have the winter running mental strength that I don’t, so you’ll be just fine! The indoor warmup is such a great idea too, not only for keeping the muscles loose, but also for preventing or calming any nagging injuries. And yes you will look like a badass out there in the cold and snow. You’ll impress many more folks in the thousands of cars you’re bound to run by on a traditional mid-week jaunt than by getting weird looks from the 30 or so lunks in the judgement free zone lifting weights with their bro friends. Best of luck in these next few months and remember, the conditions will be much more pleasant for the peak weeks of your base phase. πŸ™‚

    P.S. I love how you shoutout the No Meat Athlete podcast in rule #2, then post a Swanson GIF in rule #5. Ron himself would really appreciate the oxymoron, haha!!

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