The Problem With Winter Running

This season has been a little different.  The weather has been unexpectedly cold, but you knew that.  It’s gotten so that there are now complaints about all the complaints about how cold it is. And I’m about to throw another complaint in, but maybe it should go into a different pile.

I live in Canada, and I like living in Canada… frankly (going back far enough) I had other choices.  This is my home and I embrace its strengths and weaknesses.  It is my belief, or I should say my family’s belief, that if you want to survive this country year-round, you have to embrace what winter has to offer.  Tobogganing, skating, skiing (both nordic and downhill), building snowmen, snow-shoeing… it’s all good.   And by that rationale, I try to include my running training in my love of fresh air in the outdoors, and like any good blogger, hope that my example will inspire others…. it’s not that bad out there!

Still, I’m starting to hate winter running… but it’s not the cold or the snow.  Really.  The cold air doesn’t seem to bother my lungs as much as everyone expects, and the rest of me gets protected by layers.  I like the lower impact of running on snow, and the muscular challenge of trudging through it.  So where’s the hate?

The logistics of it all.  Getting dressed in the appropriate layers probably takes 15 minutes, though frankly, I’m afraid to time it – it might break my heart.  I really, really have to remember to put on my heart rate monitor strap first, because it’s too hard to slip it on after I’ve put on 3 layers.  Remembering all the winter gear has created some situations I wouldn’t have expected.
While effectively preparing all the winter clothes I need for running such as:

  • hat
  • gloves
  • facemask
I have forgotten the following things at one point or another:
  • one running shoe (yes really)
  • earphones
  • water for my water bottle (twice)
  • pants
And of all the equipment you’re bringing and wearing, heaven forbid if any of it is not up to snuff…

  • Brought light cycling gloves = nearly got frostbite
  • My original facemask used to hamper my field of vision (not good because I’m having to run in areas with cars and traffic more than I usually do) so I bought a replacement
  • …which didn’t allow enough airflow for me to exhale properly.  I spent my run feeling like I was gagged by kidnappers or something, and for the air to get out, the sides expanded like the gills on a fish which was just plain weird.
Not my happy face
I haven’t quite closed the door on winter running.  Due to a funny set of circumstances, I will have a little bit of free evening time, so I’m hooking up with Tribe Fitness for a group 5k run in Toronto on Wednesday night… misery loves company, right?

I’m putting this into the #BestFoot Linkup over at Darwinian Fail… join us there, OK?

13 Replies to “The Problem With Winter Running”

  1. OMG, trying to get all the layers on takes me almost a half hour. It's ridiculous! I can grab a pair of shorts and take of my shoes (I run in socks) and BAM! I'm on the treadmill in less than 5 minutes.

    So ready for spring…

  2. OMG, trying to get all the layers on takes me almost a half hour. It's ridiculous! I can grab a pair of shorts and take of my shoes (I run in socks) and BAM! I'm on the treadmill in less than 5 minutes.

    So ready for spring…

  3. I did outdoor boot camp for two years. Now I know I live in California so I have nothing to complain about, however I love you enthusiasm about running in the cold..but no, nope, nothing is fun about it LOL 🙂

  4. I did outdoor boot camp for two years. Now I know I live in California so I have nothing to complain about, however I love you enthusiasm about running in the cold..but no, nope, nothing is fun about it LOL 🙂

  5. I think this winter has just been particularly awful for everyone. Just keep telling yourself that there won't be another like it for a loooong time. And March really isn't that far off, right?

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