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All that being said, I did re-arrange my long run if necessary to avoid snowstorms that would fall on a weekend long run day.
Wear your Yaktrax to avoid icy slips. Or if your schedule permits, try to run at lunch time when the ice has typically melted. I find the worst problem with winter running is not the snow and ice but the narrow roads. I found it safer to run at 5:30 am with Taktrax on the ice than to run during later morning or evening rush hour.
Be brave and get outdoors.
Be brave and get outdoors.
^^ This. 5mins on a dreadmill and I'm searching for forks to jam in my eyes, and about the only thing that will keep me from running outdoors 6x/week through Canadian winter is an ice storm.
I wrote a blog post (here) last year about winter running, if you're interested. I don't use any traction aids, but I do tend to wear trail shoes more often in the ice & snow.
ill advised racing inc.
I put screws in my shoes. I have a slightly older pair of running shoes that I put very short hex head screws in. Google some instructions, they are out there on the web. The key is to get really really short screws so you don't feel them in the shoes. Screw from the outside in. I live near a college, and they are pretty good about snow removal.
I once tried a friend's katahoola micro spikes ( I likely spelled that wrong), they were amazing on a trail but I couldn't imagine using them on the streets.
This is my last after work run in the daylight for a couple months. Took it one week ago today.
It take a while for me to adjust to the worse weather. For me it is dark and rain. Cold and clear I'm totally cool with. Unfortunately I live outside Seattle so I get more dark and rain the cold and clear. I LOVE running when it is snowing.
When I do hit the treadmill, like I did tonight, I watch The Office. I started on Season 1 Episode 1 and I'm about to start the series finale. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 that I bring with me to the gym and prop up on the treadmill so I can watch Netflix. I prefer sitcoms. I went through Freaks and Geeks last winter. Unfortunately that was only on season, such a great show!
Eventually I'll start running after work outside. We've had lousy weather this last week and I need to make the mind shift back to running in shitty weather. Ugh.
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"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
Seriously, don't run outside in winter conditions. An "ice crash" once cost my wife four months off due to the injury.
Honestly, I love winter running...best time of the year! FWIW, in 30 odd years of running, I have rarely ever run on the TM. And in the last 12 years or so, since I've reduced my running to 3 dpw, I think I've done maybe only one or two workouts on it. I detest it like the abomination it is. That being said:
1) Most of the time I wear my normal shoes (Kinvaras). Occasionally, I run in Peregrines (the older ones, when they were the trail equivalent of the Kinvara). When the footing is snowy/packed/icyish I will wear yaktrax. Some people say screw shoes, which I have tried, but just don't care for. Regular shoes work the best most of the time. I wear SmartWool ultralights year round as far as socks.
2) If I run in the dark, I sometimes CARRY a headlamp (with the strap, but wrapped around my hand), but only if I am in an "unsure" area, and even then I don't usually end up needing it. I DO wear a reflective vest and ankle strap, along with a blinky (on an armband) if I am out on sidewalks/paths next to roads. I have found I don't need to worry about ME seeing, as much as other seeing me. But where I live, there are very wide shoulders at a minimum, and bike paths for most of it.
3) The whole line about no bad weather, just bad clothes is true. But you have to find what works for you. Personally, I don't wear a ton...and what some people wear at 30, I don't think I get to at -30, but whatever floats your boat.
4) Adjust your expectations. A lot of people will spaz b/c they have to run slower or have to adjust their workouts. It's OKAY. Frankly, it's also one of the reasons I love the winter. For me, it's a great time to run just for the sake of running.
Sheets of ice make the footing bad, but that's about the only thing I wouldn't run on. (And if I HAD to run, I'd probably go on the trails/golf course in that case) As far as cold, that isn't as big of an issue. I've run in windchills in the -55 range. Air temps in the -20s. Note: The -55 wc ones are ASS COLD b/c the wind is blowing :p And it's hard b/c you'll heat up/cool down unpredicatbly sometimes. Also, when it's that cold, you do need to exercise some common sense (as you would any time you run in potentially hazardous conditions)--don't run in remote areas where IF you were to lose your footing or have some sort of incident no one would find you; let people know where you;re going/when you'll be back, etc.
I'll add that a hat is better than an ear warmer, and that when the temps or the windchills drop into the double digits below zero, a gaiter or balaclava is nice. And sunglasses. Those chilly windy days, it sucks when your eyes water so much your lashes stick together. mmmm...I love winter running. It really is the best part of winter :-)
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I run to run, I guess. I like being outside. So the treadmill doesn't really have value to me. If I have to be inside and get exercise, I'd do something like my bike or the ET where I can read while I do it.
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discard your watch/gps, just run and go as slowly as needed to be safe. Shady spots may often be icy even when the trails/roads are clear, I'll walk through these, have no shame about it..
Never used yaktrax, did use the screws in the sole at first, but find a decent trail sole works for snow.
Check into the winter trail shoes, like those shown here, Salomon and NB make specific winter run shoes.
I don't bother since I run hot, but if you get cold feet these might be nice. Also wool socks.
on icy days, dreadmill with music played loud, or mild intervals like 5min at 80% max HR, 5min easy, can break up the monotony..
Madison is pretty good about plowing, and I've never felt the need to buy yaktraks or had ice send me to the ground. I run in my normal running shoes year round. I would, however, recommend that you assess your running stride and make adjustments as necessary. I always end up using winter running to work on my cadence and footstrike. If you tend to overstride (heel lands in front of your hips instead of below) you are at much greater risk of falling. Picking up cadence fixes (or at least improves) that for most people.
As others have mentioned, invest in some cold weather running clothing! Ear warmers, different thicknesses of gloves, vests. Below about 15*F, I wear two pairs of tights. Below ~5*F I wear a balaclava. Experiment and come up with your own tricks and favorite pieces. I don't like to do too many longish runs (>1hr) with the balaclava, because I get extra eyelash icicles and a nice block of ice on the fabric in front of my mouth when I wear it for a while, and that starts to get irritating. I haven't resorted to running in goggles yet :)
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Update..........wife just had another injury while running in the ice and snow. This time a popliteal injury and she is currently walking with a cane. She does this almost every year. This why I x-country ski and never run once the snow falls. Be careful winter running. It can be treacherous.
Count me in the set of would rather poke my eyes out with knives than run on the dreadmill
I am training for Boston so will be doing plenty of cold weather/ice/snow runs
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