What Happens to Runners in the Winter?



  • lawkat
    lawkat Posts: 537 Member
    I run outside all year long and live in Maryland. I just make sure to keep a closer eye out when there is ice. As for snow, I love running in the snow, but I also love running in the rain too. I have plenty of gear to keep me warm and mostly dry. I also have Yak Track to put on my sneakers if there is snow on the ground. I hate running on a treadmill. I avoid it at all costs.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    I just started running this Spring and am in love with it too! I live in NS, Canada and we have lots of snow and ice from late November till March. I'm really hoping for some insights on this too. Will my regular runners cut it or do I need a specialty shoe? My husband bought me an awesome treadmill (hint, hint....'get in shape!') that I might use for interval training on nasty days, but I am definitely an outdoor girl. My local YMCA has a new indoor track which I'd like to try too. I think the key will be finding a solution before the winter starts.

    Hard to say for sure... it will depend on traction and your ability to keep your feet dry.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,515 Member
    they sell winter running gear...i wear the proper gear and run.
  • Phildog47
    Phildog47 Posts: 255 Member
    I used to be a diehard runner and would run outside year round... love seeing the Christmas lights on the homes with falling snow, really brightens my mood. But as I get older, I opt for the elliptical at the gym.
  • MB_Positif
    MB_Positif Posts: 8,898 Member
    I'm in the Philly burbs and we get plenty of snow.

    Philly burbs! Woo hoo!
  • blackNBUK
    blackNBUK Posts: 58 Member
    It can be a beautiful experience running through virgin snow @ 5AM.

    I guess it's like the first ski run of the day! I like it!
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,425 Member
    I rejoice that I get to run in cooler temps!

    I'd rather run in newly fallen snow or 20 degree temps than hot humid conditions.
  • UpEarly
    UpEarly Posts: 2,567 Member
    I run a whole lot more in the winter than I do in the summer! I live in the Virginia mountains, so in the summer, it's hot, extremely humid, buggy. Add that to all the tough hills I have to climb on my route, I typically don't run between late June and mid September.

    In the winter - I wear lightweight wicking layers, a hat and gloves. If it's icy, I put YakTrax on. Running in the winter is awesome!
  • Hey there,

    A rugged Canadian here! :-)

    Last winter was my first running outside all winter. My first half marathon was a winter run this past Feb.

    First, winter running is lots of fun! This surprised me last year. I was mentally preparing myself for months of cold wet misery.

    If you run outside now, keep with your current schedule. The weather will change gradually, you will adapt as the weather changes.

    The scuttlebutt I have heard is that you should dress for 10 Deg C warmer than the outdoor temperature. To deal with how your body rate increases as you run. Not sure how true this is but I have run in shorts on ridiculously cold days. And been perfectly comfortable.

    The important thing with cold temperature running (in my opinion) is not to over dress. My experience is that over dressing leads to excessive sweating and this leads to being cold the second you stop.

    The offset to this is to invest in some form of face covering that can be taken on/off several times during a long run. It can be hard on the lungs with a cold wind in your face.

    The issue of trail running might be an issue? Be careful there, up here, trails are not cleared. It is hard to run in deep snow and if you are at all off a track that is regularly used? Let people know where you plan to run and for how long.

    I hope that you enjoy the winter running experience as much as I did!

    Thanks for this! I'm in Edmonton and this is very helpful :) My BFF and her husband are runners and have said pretty much the same thing, but it's nice to see someone else saying the same thing from the same type of winter conditions! This will be my first winter running and I was starting to get a little concerned!
  • rsimoneau1
    rsimoneau1 Posts: 35 Member
    Layers. Gloves.

    I live in NH and will run as long are the streets are cleared and dry. If not, stationary bike in the house and gym.
  • errorika
    errorika Posts: 89 Member
    I live in South Dakota and we get some really nasty winters (well, just weather in general). I would much rather run in the winter than the summer, due to allergies and hot humid temps. I usually tend to scout the routes I plan on running on my way home from work, to check for any problem areas with ice or for places that haven't been shoveled and then avoid them. I also looked into getting a pair of Yak Traks, and might have to invest in them this winter.

    Don't give in to the treadmill! I only run inside if the wind was crazy and during ice storms. Otherwise, bring it on!
  • loril13
    loril13 Posts: 320 Member
    I started running last September, so I only have one winter under my belt. I ran outside until the sidewalks became inpassable with constant snow. Unfortunaltely, a large part of my route is on the sidewlk along very busy, streets with blind curves. Running on the street instead of the sidewalk is not a safe option.

    I found I was comfortable down to about 30°f. Much below that and it became uncomforatble to breath. Covering my nose / mouth with my running scarf just fogs up my glasses, which then freezes. I can breathe, but and am now blind.

    Sadly, at that point I switch to the dreadmill until the sidewalks once again are passable and/or it is not quite so freezing. .
  • smarionette
    smarionette Posts: 260 Member
    I hibernate.

    Actually I tend to do the treadmill and catch up on bad movies while doing so. I just hit the "random hill" button to keep it varied
  • Mokey41
    Mokey41 Posts: 5,769 Member
    guess I should say this, I live in Georgia and we can have some harsh winters.

    Ok, after I got done laughing at the harsh Georgia winters, just keep running. I'm in Canada and I run all winter. Some days you pick whether you go out or not so I have a treadmill but if the road is clear then I layer up and head out.
  • Mr_Bad_Example
    Mr_Bad_Example Posts: 2,403 Member
    Q: What happens to runners in the winter?

    A: Well, it's a complicated process, but the majority of runners tend to flock together and migrate to the warmer climates of the southern hemisphere during the winter months. They will band together in a "V" formation and coordinate through hand signals with one another as to which direction to go. Slower members of the flock are sometimes picked off by predators, such as automobiles, so speed and awareness are the keys for migrating runners to survive their long and arduous journey.

    Edited to add: taken from Migration Habits of Bipedal Fast-Travelers In Winter Months by Kordell Walker, Texas Ranger, Ph.D.
  • I'm wondering about this myself. I'm in NC and I've been told that running in the winter is SOOOO much harder than in the summer because of the cold air and how it affects your breathing. I have asthma, so I'm a bit concerned. I too just started this summer! Curious myself!!!

    Wisconsin winters can be quite rough, sometimes we can get through most of December without any snow but the harsh, cold air can come sooner and can be hard on my lungs. I had asthma for a number of years and the cold air was always so difficult to breathe. For the winter, I have winter running apparel and sometimes add layers. Long pants, tech shirt, jacket, gloves, headband (over the ears) and for my mouth, a running cowl. I don't know what the name is, but it goes over my head and rests on my shoulders to keep my neck warm and I pull that over my mouth.

    If the sidwalks aren't shoveled yet, the roads usually are. So I'll run on less busy streets too. I really enjoy running during the winter months but fortunately my new gym has an indoor track for the days I cannot run outside.
  • Lyerin
    Lyerin Posts: 818 Member
    I'm in Vermont, and I too am worried about the winter months. I really hate being cold, and I am afraid of slipping on the ice and getting hurt. My FIL, who is awesome, gifted my DH and me a membership to a local gym for a year. It starts October 1, so as soon as there is snow on the ground, I'll have easy access to a treadmill for the super cold/icy days. I prefer being outside, but I'm less likely to run if I have to face the cold and the ice.
  • RunHardBeStrong
    RunHardBeStrong Posts: 33,069 Member
    I run outdoors all year long. I change up my clothing based on conditions, but that's about it.

  • LimeGreenFwooper
    LimeGreenFwooper Posts: 11 Member
    I got a pair of YakTrax for walking on the snow and ice last winter and they work really well. Loads more grip and stability than walking without them. I've never tried to use them for running but apparently people do; they even make a special model for running.

    Living in the UK my main thoughts aren't about snow and ice; they are about the rain, wind, cold and general darkness. It's only September and I'm already having to start my run by 6:30pm if I want to run along the paths I love.

    Thank you! I came here to mention YakTrax!!!! I personally have not used them but a trusted prof I had in grad school is a marathon runner (southern Ontartio) and he swears by these for the winter. He said he can run over ice with no problem at all.
  • I'll run on whatever might be clear outdoors in the winter.