We are taking a quick recovery break, but will be back up and running in no time!
There are seasons of running. Some months are hot and humid. Others are dark and cold. If you are planning on running the Walt Disney World Marathon, Tinker Bell Half Marathon, or Princess Half Marathon events, that means you’ll be training during the winter months. Here are some tips – from both the north and the south – for the cold weather!
I’m from Michigan. Fall has already arrived which means cooler running weather. (And it is currently wonderful!) However, that also means that winter is coming, along with snow and ice. That’s right, up here in the frosty north, we have to train in crazy winter conditions!
Here are some of my tips on training through a frigid and snowy winter.
Invest in cold running gear. Up here in the north, we usually need tights, jackets, gloves, hats and even YakTrax (spikes) for our shoes! It is important to make sure that when the weather gets cold (and maybe even snowy), you need to keep your body warm. Runner’s World has a great tool that can help in deciding what to wear for the conditions. Remember you can always take off layers if needed!
Hydrate. In the summer, it is easy to keep your fluid intake high. In the cooler months, it is more difficult. Make sure that you are keeping your body hydrated before, during and after a run. As your mileage increases, you may want to invest in a hydration belt, backpack or handheld so that you always have fluids with you, no matter what route you take.
Be safe. The winter months mean that it is dark for the majority of the day. Whether you are a morning or evening runner, there is a good chance you will be running in the dark. Make sure that you are safe. Great options include a head lamp, reflective clothing and your phone. Safety first!
Fall? I wish! The weather where I live is similar to Walt Disney World. What does that mean? Unpredictable! Living on the Gulf Coast, we are just beginning to get our first glimpse of cooler weather. One week, I may search high and low for gloves before layering up to head outside and the next week I could find myself running in a tank and shorts.
Here are a few tips on how I deal with the unpredictable fall and winter weather in the south.
Stay Organized. Keep a couple of bins in your closet to separate warm weather running gear and cool weather running gear. It’s much easier to get motivated to head outside for your run if you don’t exhaust yourself searching for the items you need before you make it out the front door. In the spring, I box up all my winter running gear and keep it in one spot. When fall arrives, I know where to find the items I need.
Protect yourself. During summer months, sunscreen is one of the first items a runner reaches for before heading outside. But, don’t forget the sunscreen during the winter months too. Just because the calendar says it’s winter doesn’t mean you can avoid sun damage. Also, don’t forget to use lip protection to prevent sun and wind damage to your lips.
Dress in layers. As the seasons change, so does the temperature throughout a long run. Dress in layers so that you can stay warm if it is cold, but then peel off a layer or two if you get warmer along the way.
Plan for the worst. While I hope I never see a day when YakTrax are needed for a run in my hometown, let alone any race at Walt Disney World, it’s always a good idea to have the essentials on hand. Invest in high quality accessories that will last! Light layers, capris, pants, and shorts, a lightweight jacket, gloves, sunglasses and something to cover your ears should be in every runner’s closet. Prepare for training runs in the high 70′s to the high 20′s at any point during the race season – and that includes Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend too – anything is possible! The key to training in the south is to know that on any given day you could need your summer or winter running gear.
Good luck in your training and stay safe!