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Why Canada is your ideal winter training location

How training through the Canadian winter keeps you physically and mentally tough

Winterman Marathon

Running through winter is essential if you have a spring goal race. And if you live in Canada, this means trudging through snow, ice and cold to make that training happen. 

RELATED: VIDEO: must-do winter running strength exercises

At times, you might consider training in weather this gruesome to be a serious disadvantage, but it turns out that training through winter can actually be a great thing for you spring marathon results. 

Rob Watson was a guest on the Shakeout Podcast this week and shed some light on the Boston Marathon and how best to prep for the race. Watson is a 2:13 marathoner who’s also a two-time Canadian steeplechase champion on the track. According to Watson, training through the Canadian winter can make you so much stronger come race day. “I would go out for these runs in the dead of winter in knee-deep snow and we’d say, in the summertime let’s remember what we did on February 12, because this is awful. And it’s challenging to do, but when you finish it you feel like kind of a badass.”

Winter Running Injuries

Watson continued to say, “It’s mental, and it’s also physical, and you have to prepare both of those elements for the marathon. You’ll become pretty hardy training through a Canadian winter, that’s for sure.” With so much Canadian success at Boston in 2018, Watson’s thoughts ring true. Krista DuChene had a huge third place overall women’s finish in some of the worst conditions in the race’s history. Race day conditions aren’t guaranteed, so if you’ve prepared through some ugly weather, nothing on race day can scare you. Difficult conditions can help make you a tougher runner.

Obviously there are days when conditions get a little too tough–remember there’s a difference between being persistent and being foolish. After an ice storm, hop on the treadmill, but if it’s snowed a little bit and you’ve got the right gear, you’ll be fine on the streets. 

To keep motivated through the winter, consider signing up for a cold-weather race to keep yourself accountable. An event like the Pentathlon Des Neiges in Quebec City or the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington are two good options for training motivation. 

To hear the full podcast episode, download here