by Heba Hosny in Training Tips, image by Kasia

6 Tips for runners to survive the Winter

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As winter starts to turn its ugly face, some runners develop intimate relationships with their bed sheets, leaving their running gear feeling neglected and betrayed! Do not be one of them unless you want the weather conditions to control your life.

Do you ever say: “nah, I don’t feel like going to work or driving the kids to school because the weather sucks?” I bet you never say that so why would you compromise your running routine for the same lame excuse?

Perhaps you really want to run no matter what but not sure how to deal with wintertime. Here are some tips to help you out.

1. Run outside whenever possible

I lived in Toronto, Canada for a while and I have experienced many weather fluctuations in the winter. One day, it could be sunny and the next the day the temperature is minus 30 degrees plus winds…Ouch!
No sane or sober person would ever advice you to run outside under these conditions but at least take advantage of the sunny days. In other words, run outdoors whenever it is humanely possible and don’t mimic those runners who hiberante their entire running routine only because some days are cold!

2. Run Indoors

In the beginning of the article, we agreed that you will NOT compromise your running routine under any circumstances and since we don’t advocate running outside during blizzards, we would say run indoors instead.
Many Gyms and community centers offer indoors running options. In fact, some of them organize indoors winter races. Now, that’s a good motivational kick! If you found winter racing opportunities in your area, don’t think twice.

3. Give the treadmill a bow!

I know that some seasoned road runners are not big fans of treadmills but when it’s your only alternative, give the treadmill a bow and give it shout. At the end of the season when you find yourself in great shape, you will be glad that you did.

4. How about running in the water?

Indoor pools are probably much more than indoor running places. Try pool running (aqua jogging) and the amazing benefits this kind of training has to offer. For starters, there is almost no chance of getting injured in the water because there are no impact forces that could damage your legs. If you haven’t tried it before, give it shout and let us know how it went.

5. Cross training comes to the rescue…

Typically, you should cross-train all year long and we detailed the benefits of cross training in previous posts. In wintertime in particular, you might cross-train more than usual to compensate for the lack of running. Swimming and biking are great cross-training options for you. If possible go for, Aerodyne bikes as they combine upper/lower body cardiovascular exercise. Stationary bikes and Ellipticals are good as well. However, bear in mind that these options have lower impacts than you running routine. To make up for that, increase your cross-training duration.

6. How about some muscle strength training?

Studies have shown that incorporating strength training can greatly boost your running performance. As we said with cross-training, make it a habit to strength train all the time. If you can’t run one day, how about strengthening your core muscles with some weight lifting exercises.

There you go! Your choices are endless to maintain your running routine at wintertime. Which of them do you like the most? And hey, if you have other wintertime-running-tips, please do share them with us. Thanks in advance for your contribution :) .

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