I’ve been doing a lot of complaining so far this winter about running outside and the winter has only just begun! You’ve probably noticed how much more I’m opting for the treadmill (which is an easy choice when its right in the basement) And I did take a hard fall the other day on an icy winter run that left me with a nasty bruise and shaken confidence. There are reasons for all this complaining, I swear!
But in between all that complaining, there have been some really great winter runs. My 15 miler last Saturday with my friend Nordica was a blast. A mid-morning workout (in daylight!) on January 2nd left me motivated and excited about Boston.
Winter running isn’t all bad. However, there are some crazy things that will probably happen to you if you decide to run outside this winter.
Here are a few:
- You will experience frozen eyelashes. Or a frozen beard.
- You will wear more layers than you thought possible.
- You will experience “frosty thong.” This is when your butt is sweaty on a cold winter run, so the sweaty areas freeze, resulting in what my friends have come to know as the “frosty thong.”
- You will wear a face mask.
- You will make friends with a treadmill. It will happen. Mine is my best friend. Sometimes it’s just too icy or too cold to go outside….
- You may experience Raynaud’s. This is generally not a big deal if this happens to you (and its way more likely to happen to you if you’re female). It happens to me ALL the time. It definitely looks freaky!
- The fluids in your hydration belt will freeze on a run.
- You’ll call 30 degrees “downright balmy!”
- You’ll slip. Hopefully you will not break anything. (May I recommend YakTrax Run!)
- You’ll post pictures on social media of just how cold it is and how #hardcore you are for running outside.
These things all sound kinda crazy…But let me tell you about the really AWESOME things that will happen if you decide to run through the winter!
You’ll be tougher.
The winter never feels as horrible when you’re still running outside. With the right gear, you can safely run through winters as tough as those in Minnesota! Knowing that you are hardy enough to be outside for extended periods of time will make the whole winter more bearable.
You’ll come to appreciate the beauty of winter.
It really can be beautiful out there…much more beautiful than the inside of the gym on a treadmill.
You’ll stay in awesome shape.
Running in the winter is tough. Running on uneven terrain from the snow is challenging on the legs, but the minute you’re running on dry pavement in the spring, you will discover how strong you have become! There won’t be a long base buliding period after the winter because you’re already going to be in shape. You’re going to be in shape the whole time!
Running in the winter is totally doable, totally worth it, and can actually be a lot of fun.
You have to experience cold to appreciate the warmth.
There is nothing better than coming in after a cold run to a warm house, maybe a fire in the fireplace, a hot shower, a cup of coffee, and a great feeling of accomplishment for completing a winter run!
Great post! Very fun. My treadmill has been my best friend lately, too. We just continue to have sub-zero temperatures and wind chill warnings here in north-central Montana!!! ugh. There comes a point where it’s just too darn cold to go outside. I was in Iowa visiting my family between Christmas and New Years, though, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed running outside in temps in the 30s and 40s!!! “Downright balmy” is right!!
Keep up the great work! Love your posts!
Montana sounds about like Minneapolis lately….tough running round these parts!
Glad you enjoyed your Iowa visit! 🙂 40’s sound pretty amazing right now.
Wow!!!!!! I just cannot imagine running in such a cold cold place….. bravo Zulu to you guys! Frozen eyelashes?! Frozen beard?!
I guess me complaining about how freezing it is at 58 degrees out here seems like a joke to you guys! Haha!
Stay safe and please be careful! Boston is waiting for you!!
Haha yes this list probably seems super crazy to you. But there is fun in winter running, I swear!
Fun indeed! And after having tried all manner of traction aids (adding sheetmetal screws to shoes, yak trax, generic ice cleats of all sorts), I finally found a deal that I couldn’t pass up – if you have the chance to try out some Icebugs with their dynamic stud BuGrip system, drop everything and try them out. While i wouldn’t necessarily recommend running for miles and miles on bare pavement in them just because you can…it has been the first time that I felt secure in my footing on the slippery stuff AND didn’t slip and slide all over when… Read more »
Thanks so much for reading and commenting Rich! I’m excited to check out this BuGrip system!!