Running in the winter can be pretty miserable, especially if the temperature changes from 60s to 20s as quickly as in Michigan. Here are a few tips that can hopefully motivate and prepare you to get yourself out into the freezing temps.
Just getting out the door can be the hardest part of the run, and without any goals in mind, can feel nearly impossible some days.
Setting short term goals with a long term goal in mind can be a great way to get and stay motivated. Goals like hitting a certain number runs a week, or a specific weekly mileage can be great short term goals to pair with longer term goals like a spring race, or a personal health goal.
2.Get some traction
Running on snowy or icy streets and sidewalks can get real messy without proper footwear.
Good: Running specific Crampons(a traction system that can be wrapped around any running shoe) can be a great tool for really snowy or icy days, but the metal chains aren’t especially comfortable when running on long sections of concrete.
Better: A trail shoe can be useful on the roads in the winter, as they often have aggressive lugs that provide lots of great traction but don’t come with the metal clicking.
Best: Vibram Arctic Grip: Any shoe with this rubber is going to be the best for icy and slippery days. This rubber is made to stick to any sort of ice, wet or dry. This technology comes on the Saucony Peregrine 8 Ice+(it also comes on a few Merrell hiking boots!).
The days get short in Michigan winters, and if you’re running in the morning or at night, chances are that you’ll be in the dark. Having a few reflective pieces, a headlamp or neon or fluorescent clothing can help you stay seen and safe.
4.Keep the Wind out
Having windproof gear is a must for cold winters here in Michigan. A light windproof jacket or running vest can do a lot to keep your core warm, which will help keep your limbs warm as well. Almost as important as keeping your core warm is your extremities. Having a good pair of windproof mittens(mittens do better retaining body heat than gloves), and a good pair of merino wool running socks, will work well for keeping your fingers and toes toasty.
If you have an especially hard time with cold toes, try a Gore-Tex or a winterized running shoe, as most major shoe companies will release winterized versions in their popular models.
5. Treat Yo Self!
Give yourself something to look forward to post run. A nice cup of hot cocoa or coffee paired with a warm meal is a great thing to come back to after your run and will do wonders for heating you back up!