Training – in the winter – in Iowa…. now for me, it really isn’t any different than training for a race any other time of the year. I run year round, just get the clothes and adapt, and really once you run a few times in the extremes your body quickly adjusts, the worst is if the temps fluctuate.
This year I am training for a race in Florida…the Key West Half Marathon.
Ok, I am no stranger to training through the winter for a Florida race… I ran the inaugural Dopey Challenge, it really wasn’t too bad…so I thought I would review my training and share my tips with you.
1. Treadmill – This is the obvious answer. My gym is always 100 degrees, or it feels that way, so if I just switch to training indoors, I can adapt to the warmer climates. However, I avoid the treadmill at all costs. If I run too much on one, hello shin splints. Also I HATE THE TREADMILL! This tip can also be, run indoors too…I have access to an indoor track.
3. Gear – This is my personal, favorite answer. I need to get the training miles in, and would rather run outdoors. I make sure I have the right gear for doing this. My number one tip is to dress in layers. That first layer will take that sweat from you, but the top layers will keep you warm, so the wet clothes don’t hit the cold air. I also don’t leave the house without a great pair of windproof gloves, thermal tights / windproof pants, running glasses, face mask/scarf/Buff(r), and stocking hat. Sure this all seems like a lot, but really if you are comfortable out there, you wont notice how cold it is.
4. Self Care – with the changing environments and temperatures, it’s easy to get sick. Make sure to take care of yourself. This starts with a good diet, but regular foam rolling, stretching, and trips to the sauna all help too. Oh, don’t forget a good lip balm!
5. Hydrate! – This is an easy thing to overlook in the winter, especially since you may not feel like you are loosing fluids. There are a lot of great products on the market to keep you hydrated, there are even some that can be served hot. Drink up!
6. Embrace the suck and have fun out there. Some people don’t get to experience the cold weather, and GASP – they whine about not running in the summer as it’s too hot and humid.
Also, you will have bragging rights. Imagine getting together for the holidays and all the family does is complain about the snow, you can just pipe in and say, “It was a great day for a run!”