Fitness

Running Outside in the Winter

Cold weather. You either love it or hate it. My love affair with winter started and ended with my elementary and secondary school years. In preschool, snow days meant playing in the front yard, making snowmen and snow angels. In middle school, snow days meant that I could hang on the house phone and chat with my friends about who liked who. In high school and college, I finally realized how much I hated being outside in the winter, so I resolved to eating cookies and watching TV all day.

I’m still not a fan of cold weather, but I now see the benefits of  being outside all year around. I spend 5 out 7 days a week working in an office. The only time I see the sun is on my way to work. If I spent weekends inside as well, I would hardly feel like I’m living on Earth. I take advantage of my weekends now to get back in touch with nature as much as I can. It’s easier for me to force myself to go running than walking because after running for a while, you will inevitably start to warm up.

I struggle with finding the motivation to go outside on a rainy and/or cold day, but I have equipped myself with a few tricks to jump out of bed. First of all, I’ve invested and received (Thanks Mom and Dad) cold weather running gear. I love my running tights and fleece-lined half zips. They are so comfortable and best of all-warm! Knowing that I will not freeze outside makes me feel better about venturing out. Secondly, I have goals for the spring and summer. I know that it will be much easier for me to start training for a race in the spring if I continue to run throughout the winter. In addition, I try to make my runs fun as much as possible. Sometimes I will run in a loop so that I finish back home, but I enjoy point to point runs as well. I recently picked out a restaurant that was 6 miles from where I live and I ran there! It was great to grab some grub when I finished my run and make my way home via public transit! That’s another thing! If you live a major city, take your metro card or bus pass with you when you run. If you feel so inclined to run miles from home, you can always transport yourself back and don’t have to worry about turning around in a certain place.

This will be my first time running through the winter and I am excited. Typically, I let my running shoes rest from November to March, but this year, I’m determined to stay out there. I don’t want to lose my progress just because it’s cold.

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