Although I much prefer the heat (and humidity) of Summer, I admit I would miss not having the change of seasons right outside my door. Granted, I may loathe the cold, but there is a bit of a magical essence to Winter, especially in terms of running. Even I cannot deny that.
Actually, there are several things I like about running during the winter season.
Care to hear a few? Read on...
Don't worry, I am not posing as a lover of all things winter. Nope, not happening. That said, I do have a pretty high tolerance for all things running, even in the dead of winter. For myself, it happens (more often than not) in the wee hours and it happens outdoors.
An aside...It's quite ironic (or a intervention of Fate?) that I would have this blog post in the works right as the 2021 version of a polar vortex arrived for an extended stay. What's that saying about fish and family...they both start to smell after a few days? I'd have to say the same for extreme winter conditions.
But I digress.
Here's five rewards of winter running:
There's plenty of beauty to behold.
Being among the snow in the trees, grass, and brush is a most enchanting experience. How about a thick layer of hoar frost, when the air temps are damp? When the sunlight makes the snow sparkle, like a field of diamonds, it's quite blinding (but in a good way). And catching the sunrise (or sunset) can be a breathtaking experience, in the crisp winter air.
A powerful workout can happen.
Running, in a winter wonderland, usually can ensure more than just a solid training run. Stepping in snow, or on a slick street or sidewalk, will draw on many a muscle. You'll use your legs differently, navigating the compromised surfaces, and your balance may be tested if your footing isn't solid. All told, you'll get a much more thorough workout, and you'll be stronger for the experience. Total win-win.
Can we talk about tranquility?
On the rare occasion, when the wind plays nice (or, even better, is MIA), the cold air is quite calming. After all, there probably won't be any birds chirping, especially on an early-morning run. And, if it's still dark, you may be able to see your breath and really hear (with the utmost clarity) the sound of each and every foot step. If it's really early, there may not even be any traffic to worry about...the streets are yours and yours alone.
Often times, it's just you.
Have you ever been the first one to leave footprints in the snow? It feels adventurous, not to mention liberating, to know you've gone where no one else has yet trodden. You just have to be careful, and step with caution...which can be its own adrenaline rush.
Finally, let's not forget the #badass variable.
Let's be honest...the temps are frigid and not everyone is willing to layer up and hit the streets (and that's alright). It takes a few extra minutes to get dressed for the cold. You may need an additional pair of socks (and gloves). And, your nose will probably be a gooey mess. But, facing the wind's wrath, head-on (literally), is pretty empowering. Trust me, that warm post-run beverage will taste ever-so-sweet when you finish.
So yeah, although Winter is not my favorite season for frolicking in the running shoes, it does have its moments. Trudging through cold temps, plentiful snow and occasional ice just makes all the nicer nuances that much more rewarding. Besides, there's nothing better than that first "warm" run after an extended cold spell.
How cold is too cold for you to head outside? Do you have a preference on winter temps or summer conditions for running? Do you treat yourself to a warm beverage after a cold run?
By the way...are you following me on social media?
Thanks, Kim, I needed to read this!ReplyDelete
It's 10°F outside (probably not even cold for you) and I'm dreading going out for a run. But with your positive thoughts in mind, I shall venture out.
I hope your run went well! The cold temps are tough to face sometimes, especially if there's even a slight hint of wind...Delete
I've been turning to the treadmill more this year, but there are some nice things about winter running. Before I had a treadmill and when I lived in the city I used to run in just about anything. Its trickier out here in the suburbs when the snow doesn't get cleaned up and there's no shoulder on the road to run on. The best winter days are the ones without any wind!ReplyDelete
Yes, if we could have a winter without any wind, I'd have a much better attitude with the cold temps!Delete
Winter running has many rewards for me. I do like the beauty and tranquility of winter. I am able to run for longer at faster paces in the winter time and that is very powerful. Of course, I love the badass feeling!ReplyDelete
I agree, once I get in a groove, the miles go quickly and pretty easily!Delete
I do love a good chilly run for the #badass factor. I think that mid 20's is about my limit though it's really about how slippery the roads are. I'm seeing high 30s and sun in the forecast for next week so with any luck the roads will be clear and I can end my treadmill streak.ReplyDelete
Honestly, I can tolerate most any temps, but it's the wind that gets me. I run around our college campus a lot, and those sidewalks are always in pristine condition (with no streets to cross).Delete
I'll take extreme cold over extreme heat any day. My issue is with safety. Where I live the road shoulders disappear when they're deep in snow and I don't trust the traffic to put myself on an icy road. If there's no ice/deep snow, I'll run outside down to zero, no problem, but I don't think an outdoor run is more or less badass than a romp on the treadmill.ReplyDelete
Yes, safety is definitely paramount. I guess, comparing the two, a treadmill run (for me LOL) often times feels more badass because it requires a lot more mental strength than battling the cold.Delete
Well you know how I feel about running in the summer's heat LOL! Give me a winter run any day though as other have noted ice can be the deal-breaker. After taking a spill a few years back the risk isn't worth it for me - if the roads aren't clear you'll find me on the mill.ReplyDelete
Ice is a big time deal-breaker! A lot of times, I drive to the college and run around the central campus...those sidewalks are always in great condition and I don't have to worry about cross traffic.Delete
Definitely a warm beverage after a cold run! And I do agree about the tranquility of running outside in the Winter.ReplyDelete
Today I chose to run inside. I was kind of divided about it -- it was in the low teens, but the wind was almost nonexistent. Mostly it was a matter of time for me. Running on the treadmill can be quicker for me!
Running on the 'mill does go quicker in terms of getting dressed for it. FOR me, though, the 'mill always feels tougher. It's too repetitive and my long legs are not a fan of the potential toe-stubbing (and subsequent face-planting).Delete
Well you know I prefer winter over summer but you and I have different extremes! If I had negative degree weather I probably would not prefer winter. My race this past weekend was cold enough for me and that was only 40s! I don't mind the heat so much it's just the humidity down here that's a total killer!ReplyDelete
The humidity is to the heat like the wind chill is to the cold here. It can be a total deal-breakerDelete
There is really something special about the first crunch of footsteps in the snow. I know that it's cold, and mucky, and it gets slushy and dirty, but there is also a lot of serenity and beauty that comes with it. I wish we had more of a winter here.ReplyDelete
I'd gladly trade my winters for yours ;-)Delete
Yes, I agree that anyone who is running when it's below, say, 20F is definitely a badass! And it certainly is beautiful. With that said, I'm glad I live in the desert.ReplyDelete
The sub-freezing temps are actually quite bearable if the wind plays nice. That's a really big IF, though LOLDelete
I agree that there is just something calm and beautiful about winter ( I wrote something similar). I have not be running much in the cold but I have been taking the dogs out and ironically enough I always hear the birds and think "Shouldn't they have flown South????"ReplyDelete
Have a great weekend!
I always notice the birds on my early-morning summer runs, no matter how early it is. That's one thing that I kind of miss in winter, but I also appreciate the quiet and stillness. I just wish it wasn't SO cold...Delete
I prefer winter running to summer. Looks like I’ll be missing most of it this year. I find it so invigorating.ReplyDelete
It is invigorating, I'll give it that. Summer still has my heart, though...Delete
I could not agree more Kim. though I'm usually walking instead of running.ReplyDelete
I do a lot of walking, too. Well, I'm only doing daily 1-milers at the moment because it's so cold, but it is nice being outside.Delete
I know I've been complaining so much about the weather. Winter running isn't that bad but when you add inches and inches of snow and cold weather then it isn't exciting anymore. :-) I am enjoying my time outside though even if it is just one mile.ReplyDelete