Yup, the title of this post says it all. Trying to train for any type of running event during the winter months can be a pretty demoralizing experience. Add in a few weeks of holiday craziness and we've got a recipe for becoming a total slacker on marathon-training right here.
First of all, may I just say to all you readers who live in warm climates, where snow, ice, wind and -15 degree temperatures are non-existent, I am tre tre jealous! I am genuinely envious of being able to go outside without donning 20 million layers of clothing beforehand. Also, this post probably won't be that interesting so go soak up some sun or wear flip flops outside or something :)
What are the perils to training outside when it's winter weather? Let's talk about a few...
1. Cold. This one is a no-brainer but it's still important to consider! I only wear wicking fabrics (e.g. not cotton) that keep my body from getting too cold while running and sweating. Personally, I love these socks-
and a jacket like this-
When I run in cold weather, here's a breakdown of what I typically wear: Performance socks, spandex, long-sleeved under armour, another long sleeve shirt, a fleece vest, a lightweight jacket (depending on the temperature) gloves and earmuffs. Whoof, that's a lot to put on! No wonder training in the winter takes so much more time...
Which leads me to my next point:
2. Time. As in, less time to run because of the lack of sunlight. I know it varies by location but right now in New York City, it gets dark around 4:30. Which means I either have to drag my butt out of bed pretty early in the morning to get a run in or try and rush home after work but either way, it's always stressful trying to figure out when I'll have enough time to do my workouts.
3. Motivation. I am constantly waging an internal battle in my head. The good little angel side says to get out there and run and reminds me that I won't be able to perform in the Boston Marathon as well as I hope to if I don't train. But then the bad little devil side pipes up with thoughts like, "But it takes so long to get ready and it's 10 degrees outside" or "But I'd so much rather lay on the couch, watch Say Yes to the Dress and eat the thousands of holiday cookies I've been the recipient of." It's always a close call which side wins the war.
4. Ice, snow, rain, sleet and wind. All of these things can make running outside pretty dangerous. Although I've never taken a spill, I know several people who have. If you live in a climate where there is snow on the ground for a good portion of the winter, it might make sense to invest in a pair of these:
They're treads for your shoes, much like treads for snow tires! Brilliant, no??
When all else fails and going outside just feels like too much work, you can always hop on the treadmill instead. Although I've been avoiding the treadmill like the plague but marathon training during the long winter months might force me indoors for some runs. We'll see what happens as winter progresses...
Any other winter runners out there? Do you feel hardcore like I do whenever you make it outside for a run?