How to run through winter

By Alethea Mshar

I love winter. Snow makes the world into a stunning playground and frigid temperatures are far preferable to me than hot. Even so I was taken aback when the thermometers started plummeting after the mild December we had.

Winter weather has arrived right along with our training plans, so it’s time to dust off our layers and hustle through the snow and cold toward our payoff in April. Even for the hardiest of Michiganders, motivation can take a dive right along with the temperature, so how do we get our bums out the door when our jammies feel so right?

Clothing can make the difference between misery and comfort. Layer up with synthetics, and get wool on your feet. I just ran in the snow yesterday and my wool socks were soaked through, but my feet were warm and comfy. If it’s slippery at all, a pair of Yaktrax can keep you on your feet and moving forward instead of turning the icy pavement into a giant, slippery treadmill.

Speaking of the treadmill, there’s no problem jumping on one or an indoor track when you just can’t face the weather. It may seem obvious, but planning your long run around the weather, if you have the scheduling flexibility, can be a game changer. As mileage creeps up it’s far preferable to be out for a couple of hours on a mild or sunny day than in bitter windchills with snow blowing sideways. Once you’re out check the wind. Running into wind is miserable, but it’s that much worse when you’re already tired, chilled and sweaty. Having a tailwind on your return is a great way to finish strong.

At the end of the day, what gets me out the door, no matter the weather, is the sense of valor that comes with braving the elements. There’s nothing that declares beast mode like serious winter running. And, of course, there’s nothing better than a chai latte or hot chocolate to warm up and treat yourself for a run well done.



About Alethea:
I’m Lee. I am a determined and resilient woman. I adore my husband and children, two of whom have a mix of special needs. I delight in gardening and fitness, especially running. I work for Ottawa County Parks and Recreation as a Naturalist Guide, and I fancy myself a writer.