Winter Running: You Must Prepare Your Mind, Not Just Your Body

Living in Michigan one gets to experience the entire spectrum of weather. Rain, sun, snow, ice, blizzard, deep freeze, tornados, thunder, lightening, wind……you get the gist. So being a runner in Michigan, especially a novice newbie such as myself, can be a little daunting. And given that this is the first real winter that I have actually participated in running outside, I have come to learn a lot.

  • It is dark at like, 3pm…..BE SEEN!!! Vests, flashies, blinkies, invest!
  • Even if you are a visible running Christmas tree, some people in cars do not care, and will not give you any extra space in the road.
  • Prepare your gear! Make sure you have everything you need, and room to place things that you may have needed at the beginning of the run, but not necessarily at the end.
  • Make sure you have a charged way of communication! It is just plain smart to have a phone, or some other way of contacting someone if you have issues…..or get kidnapped, even!
  • WEAR ID!!! RoadID is a great, inexpensive way to have identification on you in case you become unconscious. They have a ton of options for wrists, shoes, your FitBit, even your dog. INVEST IN ONE! (or something like it).

So, once you are all ready to go (and may even feel like Randy from “A Christmas Story” when he is bundles to go to school) make sure you THINK about what you are going to do. Here is what I mean……Don’t get too caught up in a “great run” mentality when the elements have one (or more) up on you. Unless you live in a “non-winter” area, OR live in places like Holland, Michigan where they have “snow melt” sidewalks, running in even a half inch of snow that has been walked through by the entire city (and their pets) is much like running in frozen sand. Believe me, the calf workout in half an inch of snow is still quite phenomenal, but if you are looking at a training run where you need to maintain time……it probably will not happen, especially if you have not trained in it on a regular basis.

So just let your mind release some strict training concerns. Don’t get down on yourself if you have been able to easily run a mile without stopping, but in snow it is more like a half mile before you need a break. It is still going to better your runs that you are able to do on clear roads. It will only make you stronger. And strength, well, in the end that is what we all have!


Much Love! Keep Running!


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