The Joys of Winter Running

I love winter running. I love putting on 4 layers of clothing and trekking through the snow for many kilometers. Some call me crazy, but it is a whole new fitness experience and a truly beautiful way to spend part of your day.

Winter running takes some getting used to and the first run is always the hardest, especially if you make the mistakes that I did!

My first winter run, I had no idea what to wear. I thought a t-shirt, a hoodie, shorts and sweatpants would suffice because you always warm up a bit in a run. However, at -15C this set up was not going to be enough.

I started the run a little chilly, but that is almost always a great way to start a run as you will not overheat. I hit about 3 kilometres and realized that I was not warming up at all. By 5 kilometres, I felt like a giant Popsicle…a giant, unhappy Popsicle at that. At 6 km, I questioned my life choices and wondered why on earth I did this to myself.

As I passed the 8 km mark, I was under 2 km from my house. It is at this point when all runners have non-running thoughts. “This is horrible! Why would I go for a run today?! The outdoors is a terrible, evil place. I bet McDonalds wouldn’t be cold right now! I should have just ordered pizza and watched Netflix in my bed. I am throwing out my shoes the minute I get home. AAAAHHHH!”

fun run runners

A father- daughter running team during 2014 Eau Claire YMCA Family Fun Run & 10K

Good news folks! I made it home and I didn’t have any adverse medical condition upon arrival! However, I did learn the biggest lesson of my running career. If you are going to start winter running, you need the right gear. I HIGHLY suggest going to The Running Room, getting long running pants, winter running hat, and an excellent windbreaker. I promise I am not being paid by The Running Room to plug this in the article. I just believe in the products that they offer. For a small investment, you will be protected from the cold and you will be able to be successful as you tackle this new, satisfying challenge.

Living in Calgary, we have all come to terms with having three seasons: Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction. You either hide from winter or you go out in it! To avoid the monotony of continuous treadmill use and get into the great outdoors more, I suggest becoming a winter runner. The first few runs are tough, but getting out into nature has incredible mental and physical health benefits. You will feel amazing that you are tough enough to stand in Mother Nature’s frosty grasp, laugh, and run faster than the cold winds.