Firstly: this is not for males only – excuse the title.
Winter sucks. It’s cold, windy, and depending where you live, can leave you stranded in your home for days. As you read this, you could be in a sunny, tropical place. But you could also, one day, be in this predicament. And then what? You didn’t finish reading this article, so you won’t know what to do.
If it’s just a drizzle o’ rain, should you go for a run? What if you happened to be locked inside? How would you train for your marathons? Well, if you continue reading, you’ll learn just that.
1. Get a treadmill
The first, most prominent solution, for me, is to get a treadmill. Stuck inside? Problem solved. You can quit your whining and get running. But there’s a problem here. You’re stuck inside. Where will you put it? How will you stay on it long enough without getting bored. Yes, bored. Not
Chuck it in front of a television. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if your son is watching Spongebob, or your spouse is watching the Discovery Channel. Put it in a place you can be entertained. It’s far too easy to hop off once you’re bored. If you’re outside, you don’t have the luxury of being home when you’ve had enough. This is dangerous.
Watch something on television to keep you entertained. Tell your son to clean his room. Put your foot down, and do what you’ve gotta do. They won’t like it. You might be hated for the rest of the night for it. But they’ll get over it. I mean, it’s likely you won’t be able to hear the TV anyway, but it’s the illusion. It’s tricking your mind into being entertained. It’s necessary.
You’ve probably noticed that I prepare a lot. I’m always ready for the worst. Nothing can stop me, and it should be the same for you.
Know what the weather is at all times. Check on your phone if you can fit in a run after dinner. If there’s a blizzard, then run inside. But that’s not enough. You need to know if there’s a blizzard coming. What if you go for a 5k run, and halfway through, the weather turns? You need to prepare, especially around winter. It’s not questionable.
If you’re unprepared for the weather, it’s your own fault. I can’t show sympathy for your lack of preparation. If you’re not prepared to deal with the weather at its worst, make sure you won’t be running outside when it’s at its worst.
Is the weather only ideal between 4 and 6am? Perfect time for a morning run.
3. Drink plenty of water
Hydration is essential. Even during winter. Don’t believe for a second anyone who says otherwise. Just because it’s so cold even the polar bears are wearing jackets, doesn’t, for a second, excuse you from drinking water. Suck it up. Literally.
Even if you’re not thirsty. Even if you simply don’t want to drink. Drink. And drink a lot. Enough you couldn’t go 30 minutes without urinating. There are trees around. Probably not the best advice if you’re female, but you could try.
Before you go for your run, drink water. During your run, drink more water. When you get home, go to the toilet, and then drink some more. Your body’ll love it.
4. Dress for the occasion
You’re not running in tropical weather. And the chances are, it’s dark outside. Or, at least, dark enough that bright clothes can be the difference between life and death. And you’re not dressing for some 80’sdance party gone wrong. You’re dressing to run. Who cares how bad you
look? You’ve got better things to worry about. Such as your health, for example.
If you don’t dress for the occasion, you’re one step closer to either looking like a fool, or risking your life. Or both. As long as you don’t die looking like a fool. That’d be catastrophic.
5. Know when enough is enough
Conditions determine your body’s capabilities. It’s not rocket science. If it’s cold, wet, and windy, consider shortening your run. In fact, if those are the conditions, maybe it’s time to find a better time to run, or run inside. You don’t want to catch a cold!
If it’s just cold, then run until you need to stop. Have a plan to get home in case you can’t continue. Hypothermia is real, and you’re screwed if you can’t get home in freezing conditions. Especially if you decide to run at night in those conditions. Then help is going to be even more
difficult. I trust you have more common sense than that, though.
I can’t tell you when to stop. I mean, I could, but it’s ultimately your decision. Ring up a friend if you can’t run any longer. Now is time to use your friendship to your advantage. Get them to come pick you up. Or your partner. Anyone who’s willing, and won’t ask for cash.
6. Stay as dry as possible
Obvious, right? Wrong.
I mean, in theory, it’s easy. Not in practicality. It requires some creativity. Some thinking. And most importantly: the right equipment. The clothes you need to wear should cover your skin. Become a nun for the day. But dress tailored to running, of course. Get a (waterproof) jacket. Some running gloves. Thick socks. Suitable shoes. Just make sure you look like a runner with bright clothes on, not a criminal avoiding the police.
But you need to watch out. Don’t overdress. Some parts can get wet, because it’s inevitable. You’re running in rain. Unless you have an umbrella, be prepared to get damp somehow. The more clothes you have on, the more weight you carry. Especially when wet. Choose carefully, and most importantly, be practical. As long as your phone is either waterproof or covered thoroughly, everything else will be fine. You probably won’t die.
Winter happens once a year for several months, whether you like it or not. You can’t avoid it. Instead, you need to work with it. Working against it won’t do anyone any favors. Be prepared, stay hydrated, and the weather will be the least of your problems.
Curt Davies is a marathon enthusiast who found the mental edge you need to finish your first marathon. He’s compiled some of his best tips into a free download you can get at his website at www.marathondriven.com