Tips for fall/winter running

Source: Tom Cochrane

One of the biggest things preventing me from running in previous years was the ‘what do I do in winter?’ problem. It often happened where I would get inspired in September or October only to decide to abandon the idea before I even started because I didn’t know what to do in the winter. I was/am loath to spend $60 a month just to run a treadmill inside. Or – if gyms are anything like my experience when I went to my University gym – pay $60 to wait for a treadmill to run on.

This year, I did some research into how I could run throughout the fall and winter. With the help of google and some tips from friends, here are the two main things that have helped me on those cold mornings that I’ve run in recent weeks.

Dress for 15 to 20 Degrees Warmer

“Over-dressing is easy to do in winter running. Dressing for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is will allow your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat. You should feel chilled when you walk out the door. If you are toasty warm, remove a layer. Less is more.” (Winter Running Tips by

What to wear

Thanks to the advice from a friend, I figured out what to wear based on the weather and the advice above.

Now on days that it’s -5ºC, I wear a long sleeve moisture wicking shirt and a shell jacket, tights, socks shoes. -5 is no longer a scary concept. Once it gets colder I’ll add a fleece layer over top the long sleeve.

Most important lesson

These two pieces of information have given me the information I need not to be afraid of running. I already had all of these wardrobe items. There are only a few more that I think I will need to add: better (smaller) gloves, wool socks, and a toque that leaves a hole for my ponytail! I’m no longer afraid to run in the cold because I’m prepared.

I’m a little nervous about what it will be like when it’s really cold and I’m breathing in cold air into my lungs all the time. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

What about you? Do you have any more tips on how to run in the fall/winter? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Morning routine + being sick = grace

Photo by Jason

Photo by Jason

I have to be honest with you. I’ve been sick in various ways for the past three weeks. I haven’t been getting up at 6:45AM these days because I want my body to have all the rest it can get so my nose will stop running and I’ll stop coughing and sneezing. I have kept running, but only once a week (instead of three) and a more low-key run. You know what? I’m still quite pleased with myself!

It has taken determination to get out on those runs when it was -5ºC out and I was coughing up tons of phlegm and I did it with the encouragement of my husband. I didn’t want to lose the memory of how I actually enjoyed the runs and they weren’t as bad as my mind was making them seem. I’ve been too afraid to increase the intensity of the runs while being sick, too, so I’m still on week 2 of Couch to 5K. But again, I’m OK with that. I realize that part of what I’m doing is developing habits of running and so it’s not the end of the world if I’m not increasing intensity every week because at least I’m running.

Sometimes ‘productivity’ isn’t just about getting things done, it’s about the long-term implications about the choices we make every day. Which is why, I’m perfectly happy to not push myself maybe too hard and believe that it’s 100% perfect or don’t bother. There’s something worth celebrating in that last sentence. I used to be a person who thought if I couldn’t reach my standard of perfection I might as well give up entirely.

I’m really looking forward to this cold going away so I can not be a disgusting mess in public, but also so I can run again (because I actually like it!).

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