It’s that time of year, everyone. People are trading in their tank tops and shorts for pants and long-sleeves. It’s a great time to be a runner, but it can be a frustrating time if you’ve just started running, but we’re here to help you!
• Forget Pace
If you’re an enthusiast about pace, go ahead and cover up your watch because your pace will vary wildly depending on the snow conditions. Icy packed snow will be fast and deep, fresh powder will be considerably slower. Instead of pace, focus on perceived effort.
• Dress Like It’s Warmer
You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 10 to 20 degrees warmer. You should be slightly cool when you start. Think: layers of technical fabrics to wick sweat with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. The more you run outdoors, the more you’ll learn your own preferences, or you can use our handy What to Wear tool.
• You’re Going to Get Wet
When you’re running in snow you tend to kick up a lot of snow. Be ready to get wet from head to toe. If you’re driving to a trail-head to run, be sure to pack a change of clothes, dry socks, and some warm boots to put on after.
• Defeat the Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, try breaking it up: Run into the wind for about 10 minutes, turn around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeat. You can seek out man-made windshields, too.
• Winter Hydration
You might not remember to drink fluids as often as you would in the hot summer months, but your body still needs water. Drink some beforehand and take water with you to drink along the way.