5 Winter Training Tips
1. Find a training group or partner.
The absolute best way to make sure you keep up with your training this winter is to get somebody to run with. Having a dedicated training partner or training group is essential in getting in your winter runs. Basically, when it is cold and snowing outside, and you just can't picture yourself running out there, think of your poor friend waiting for you in the freezing cold. You can just leave them there! Your only choice is to put on your warm clothes and head out the door!
2. Buy or get access to a Dreadmill.( aka Treadmill)
The next best way to make sure you get in your training this winter is to find a treadmill. Although these machines can be a little boring, they are very close to essential training tools during the winter. I find having the treadmill for double days, or workouts are really beneficial. Trying to do some faster type intervals on slick snowy surface outside isn't usually the best idea. Or when you already bared the cold for your main run, and just can't imagine a second run out in the cold, the treadmill is key. My formula for keeping your treadmill running more sane is keep music and the TV with closed captioning on, so if one hits a commercial you always have something else to keep your attention!
3. Have plenty of warm running clothes.
Having lots of warm running clothes is another vital part of a winter training program. My motto is to always dress warmer then you would think. Chances are you will have to take clothes off during the run, but that is much better then being freezing the whole time! The main clothes to make sure you have are several pairs of long running tights, a few pairs of long running pants, tons of long sleeve shirts, a few pairs of half tights, two or three good running jackets, a few beanies, and a couple pairs of warm gloves. The warmer you feel before you take off, the easier it will be to get going.
4. Have a coach or specific training plan.
I'd like to say this is where I come in. One of the most important parts about having a coach is the accountability. When someone other then yourself is significantly interested in your running, and you have to explain to them why you stayed in and drank an extra cup of coffee instead of doing your Saturday morning long run, it will drive you to get out the door! Having a set training plan with a set goal race can be very helpful as well. Sometimes even just seeing the run you are suppose to do on paper can be enough motivation on those long snowy run days.
5. Try some snowshoe running!
This is something I have personally gotten into since moving to CO, and it has been a great way to help me stay motivated during the winter months. I'm a huge fan of trail running, and when the trails are packed with snow, the only way to still get on them is with running snow shoes! These are specifically light weight snow shoes that offer great traction and are made to keep you afloat in even deep snow. Not to mention there are lots of snow shoe races out there to keep your competitive juices flowing during the slow road race months of december-february. Plus, they are a ton of fun!
Now get out there and run!
Now get out there and run!