Monday, November 24, 2008

Winter running

We had about 10cm of snowfall last week, and I went out for my first winter run of the season yesterday. It was -5C outside, and I wore a long-sleeved tech shirt, a Sugoi jacket, my favourite Mizuno tights and regular running socks. I wore gloves at the beginning of my run, but removed them after less than hands get hot! The sidewalks in my neighbourhood ranged from completely clear and dry, to icy patches, to uncleared soft snow. I ran for an hour, covering only about 7.5km. Much slower than my usual (already slow) pace.

Many people don't like winter running. I am one of them. I am the type of person who can run on a treadmill for 2-3 hours if required, just to avoid the -25C wind chill and slippery sidewalks. I don't mind the cold so much if the wind chill isn't crazy; I'm more worried about slipping and breaking my neck. When I do venture outside, I have a few rules:

1. Absolutely. Do. Not. Worry about pace. I am out there in the cold, dealing with dicey surfaces, sweating under my layers of clothing. I'm working just as hard as I do in fair weather, even if I'm running slower.

2. If I am still miserable 15-20min into the run, I am allowed to bail and run on the treadmill. Occasionally, I am even allowed to skip the rest of my run and treat myself to a nice hot shower and a mug of hot chocolate.

3. Slushy conditions are no go. I'm not running in cold, soggy socks.

How do you deal with winter running? Do you brave the elements, or brave the monotony of the treadmill? Or do you abandon running for another sport? Discuss :)


Sonia said...

Oh man I miss running so much!! I did a 20 miler in a snowstorm, I ran in -20°C all the time and it doesn't matter to me. I just need to get out and do it..... lol I hate winter in general but winter running does something calming to me. I feel like I am the only crazy person outside! I find it very peaceful on a Saturday morning with little flurries..... oh well that won't happen in the next 2 months for me.

How's that cute puppy of yours??? We need more pics!!

Melanie said...

i'd prefer running in the coolness of winter than the humidity of summer... but i'm not a fan of winter. Does that make any sense? LOL

laura - dolcepics said...

I stay at home... whether it's snowy or not. LOL

Glad that you're not a true 'maniac' and realize the importance of keeping yourself injury free! :)

Marlene said...

I brave the elements! I loathe the treadmill and would prefer a cold, snowy, windy, icey, even slushy run any day. It's not always fun, but most of the time I don't mind TOO much. Definitely have to layer up, watch the footing and slow it down.

(Funny, I get hot hands too! You'll usually see me carrying my cloves 15 minutes into a run, even in February!)

Cliff said...

anything below -20 (including wind chill) i stay indoor. That and blizzard.

Snow is good b/c I have to work on my steps and work on those little balancing muscles. It is also easy on the feet (compare to hard cement).

The only caution is ice. Though another reinforce to take proper steps (at the reduction of speed) and form.

Double layer everything. If need to triple layer.

I love to run outside when it is snowing....

Marci said...

I actually enjoy running in the winter. I agree about slowing things down though, it is important to be safe first! Enjoy your winter running.

Carrie said...

The problem I thought I was going to have was the cold: solved with great running gear. The problem I have is the footing: icy, snow, can't maintain the pace I want to. So I end up going really, really gramma-like slow. I'm really thinking hard about getting a TM, but I really like to run outside and see the changing landscape.