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Winter running

Winter running

Well folks, we finally have snow on the sidewalks. I couldn't wait to get out this morning for a run, despite feeling a bit under the weather lately. I'm of the opinion that winter is the best season to run in.

My focus changes in the winter. In the summer months I like to run fartleks and try and improve my speed. I don't like doing speedwork on icy trails. While I extend my long runs throughout the winter, I alter my plans when things get below about -10C. If I can't do long runs for a stretch, I don't worry about it. Nature can dictate the type of running I do, but I have control over getting out that door.

In the winter I like to slow things right down, and focus on solidifying the habit. Getting out regularly and often is really a good goal to have over the winter. A 15 minute run in snow, ice and wind makes me feel more alive than an hour running in nice weather.

For those that are running in winter for the first time, I urge you to give it a go outside. Last year was my first winter. I bought a gym pass thinking running outside was impossible. Turns out it's not that difficult.

Some tips that I have found (I'm sure others have good ones as well):

1. Warm-ups will always be cold. Once you're running you'll heat up. I often overdress and it's unbearable.

2. Dress in layers for when you get too hot. Clothing can be removed and added.

3. Shops that sell clothing for people that work outside can be cheaper than winter running clothing.

4. Consider running near shops or laps around your house if it's really cold so you can warm up if needs me.

5. Carry a phone and some money if you need to call a cab.

6. Wool socks. Must have.

7. Slip on grips for your shoes may help. I have two sets that I use for walking dogs. They are excellent for ice and compacted snow, but very slippery on bare pavement. As a result, I don't use them for running. I haven't fallen once running, but I fall often just walking in the winter. Go figure.

8. Check yourself out in the mirror before you go running if it's a high windchill day to ensure that you've covered all of your skin to prevent frostbite.

9. Be kind to yourself. It's hard work to run through snow or to run dressed in winter gear. Celebrate getting out there.

Happy running folks. I pulled out my new shoes today so that I can start my winter running with new grips!

7 Replies

Bloody hell, RWD! I can't say I'm looking forward to winter running, and I'm very anxious about running in icy or snowy conditions. Having said that, I'm determined not to be prevented from running regularly, and I guess I'll have to deal with it.


You'll learn to love it. Or at least tolerate it. My mind was changed when a friend that runs marathons told me if I wasn't willing to run in ice and snow I wouldn't be running from October to March. That got me out the door quickly.


Wow! Well done you for getting out there! I love the snow normally, but since I have taken up running I have actually found myself thinking, 'oh, I hope it doesn't snow this winter'!

But you have made me reassess and now an old saying comes to mind - 'There's no such thing as the wrong weather - just the wrong clothes'!

Winter, I await you!❄️⛄️❄️

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Very interesting Runswithdogs, I like all your descriptions. Shouldn't you put plastic bags over your shoes so you won't get wet feet? 😉 It is amazing how different all our paths are on this forum. Do you run with your mouth open or shut? And I suppose all those layers would slow you down or do you wear special light weight thermal? Gosh, I couldn't stand wearing a jumper when I run! I think you should take 10 minutes off your PB just for handicap.


Most of the time we have dry snow, but baggies are something I should consider for the slushy days.... I'm a mouth breather, so on the coldest days I need a balaclava which adds a layer over my mouth. And as for clothing, I have a pair of running tights with windproofing in the front. I pair that with a thermal top or two and just wear my windbreaker over that. First couple runs I did I overdressed and was a very puffy runner. But I seem to remember that you're in Australia aren't you? I'd take my winter over unbearable summer heat.

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I remember last year someone posted a pic of themselves with icicles on their eye lashes - was that you?

That's useful advice about the ice grips, around here the main roads are usually cleared very quickly, but they never do my little street, it's a cul de sac so they don't remember it, but if it snows, part thaws, then freezes again I can't get out! Those grips might help. Luckily here the snow rarely settles for longer than a couple of days.

You're hardcore!


Thanks CG. We're lucky to live in a spot where the temperatures fluctuate a lot so we have a lot of nice days in the winter. But it leads to bad ice. And you're right, the frozen eyelashes picture was me from last year.


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