Most of Canada has seen their first snowfall, and this means that winter running has officially begun. While some runners enjoy cold weather running more than others, there are some inevitable steps that runners go though when venturing into the wild snow-covered streets for their morning miles.
Last winter we wrote a piece about the seven emotional stages of winter running, this year we’re making the list even longer because upon further consideration (and the knowledge that this is supposed to be a rough winter), there are so many more than seven stages.
Stage 1 – Getting dressed in your very cold bedroom
Waking up before the sun to go and run in the snow is a tough sell, but the biggest barrier to overcome is really getting out of your warm bed. Once you get out of your warm bed, you’re faced with the reality that you have to get dressed for your run in a glacial bedroom–another difficult thing to do.
Stage 2 – Struggling to lift your knees because you’re wearing too many layers
Even with the best technical gear, there are days when runners feel like a sausage in a casing as they head out the door. You want to be warm enough, but remember that you might be a little cold during the first 10 minutes of your winter run, this is normal. We promise you’ll warm up and ultimately be happy that you left those five extra quarter zips at home.
Stage 3 – Realizing that you didn’t properly dry your shoes from yesterday’s run
If you’ve invested in winter running shoes, then this stage probably doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re running in you all-season trainers through the snowy months, this stage is all too real. You don’t want your feet wet before you’ve even left the comfort of your home.
Pro tip: Winter running shoes make a huge difference, we strongly recommend buying them.
Stage 4 – Not paying attention to your footing, near contact with pavement
As you work into your run and your mind wanders, try and remember to pay attention to where you’re going. Even on a cleared path there are still icy patches–keep an eye out otherwise you may end up in a tangle with the ground.
Stage 5 – Meeting fellow winter runners, nodding quickly to acknowledge your winter-running solidarity
For fear of getting very cold, most runners don’t stop mid-winter run to chat. They will acknowledge each other with a quick nod.
Stage 6 – Must use washroom but government-run parks are closed for the season
Your winter running route may need to be different from your summer running route for bathroom purposes. See if there’s a Tim Hortons of McDonalds along the way as the washroom you usually use may be closed for the season.
Stage 7 – So excited for shower, too hot to start
You’ve completed your run and you’re very excited to eat some warm food and take a hot shower. However, be careful about hoping in that hot shower too quickly or you may feel a burn worse that the burn you felt during your run.
Stage 8 – Extreme pride knowing that you spent some time outdoors
The fresh air really does feel better. Unless it’s totally treacherous (and those days do exist) try to schedule time for an outdoor run. You’re body and mind will thank you.