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Winter Running Tips by Marnie!

Winter running is not most people’s favorite. The sun sets way too early, the cold can hit hard, and there are less races than in the fall or spring. But winter running is important to keep your base fitness level, and it can actually be a peaceful and fun time, if you do it right. Here are 10 tips to slay your winter running. Who knows, after trying some of these techniques, you may even start to like winter running best!

  1. Dress in layers. Dressing for the weather will make a big difference in keeping you comfortable on the run. The key for winter running is to stick with moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics and layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer and moisture-wicking socks. Add a running jacket, running gloves and beanie for cold days. Layers allow you to peel off the outer layer if you get too hot and sweaty (taking your running gloves off, tying your jacket around your waist, etc).

  2. Hit the trails. Trail running is beautiful in winter, especially if there is snow on the ground. Plus, you’ll find better traction running on trails in the snow than you would on pavement, which gets packed down with snow and turns to ice faster. When running in the snow, choose loose snow over packed as much as possible, wear trail shoes and walk if you hit any icy patches.

  3. Run with a friend. Find a running partner – a runner friend, family member or your dog. Running with someone helps the miles go by more quickly and adds fun to the run. A running buddy will also keep you accountable as you’ll be less likely to skip out on a run when your friend is expecting to see you. (And dogs are creatures of habit and will be waiting eagerly to run at the same time every day once you get into a routine with them too).

  4. Reward yourself on the run. Make your winter running more enjoyable by going on a beautiful route, listening to your favorite podcast or creating the best running playlist. Think of small things you can do to make your run experience more rewarding.

  5. Set a goal and track it. Choose a spring race to train for, set a fitness goal or monthly mileage milestone. Creating a big goal will help you stay motivated to keep running on those cold winter days. Make sure you track your progress so you stay accountable with your goal and you’ll see the miles add up. You can use a fitness tracker, running app or GPS running watch to help with your run tracking.

  6. Just go for 5 minutes. On days when you really don’t feel like running, make a deal with yourself that you’ll just get out the door and start running for 5 minutes. Chances are, once you’re out and running, you’ll feel better and keep going. Usually the hardest part is getting started and out the door.

  7. Celebrate your milestones. When you hit your monthly mileage goal, or get in all your runs for the week, celebrate. Reward yourself with some self-care and share your progress with your running app friends or social media followers.

  8. Join a virtual challenge. Virtual challenges offer a great way to stay motivated in the winter. You can find a challenge that supports your favorite charity or one with a fitness goal that aligns with yours. Many challenges use miles to measure progress and the competition may be just what you need to get going with your winter running. A little friendly competition can go a long way to help you stay running all winter.

  9. Read a running book. Winter is a great time to read, with the long dark nights and cold days. Check out an inspiring running book and you’ll feel a new surge of motivation. Some of my favorite running books are “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory,” by Deena Kastor; “Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men and Discovering Myself,” by Rich Roll; and “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” by Haruki Murakami.

  10. Enjoy a hot beverage post-run. Reward yourself after your winter runs with a hot drink of your favorite beverage – coffee, hot chocolate, tea. ‘Tis the season for hot drinks and chilling, after all.

Hopefully these tips help you get out the door and running all winter long. Happy running to you!
Marnie Kunz is a NASM-certified personal trainer, USATF and RRCA-certified running coach and the creator of Runstreet Art Runs. She is a Brooklyn resident and Akita mom. She enjoys sweating, traveling, art, and eating messily. You can follow her at @Runstreet Instagram.

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