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The 7 emotional stages of winter running

Here are the seven inevitable emotional stages that runners experience while braving the cold

Canadian Winter Running

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 seven inevitable steps that runners go though when venturing into the wild snow-covered streets for their morning miles. 

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Stage 1 – Convincing yourself to get out of bed 


When the alarm goes off, and it’s so dark and cold, actually committing to the morning run can be very hard. In the summer months you’re getting out the door to avoid the rising temperatures, but in the winter, all you want is some sunshine and warmth. Sadly, chances are your run isn’t going to bring you either of those things. So you consider skipping your run, and then you remind yourself that you actually really like running and you’ll be better for getting it done. So you rise. 

Stage 2 – Layering 


Layering is one of the most important aspects of successful winter running. Too many layers, you’re hot, not enough layers, you’re a human popsicle. Almost every runner will check the weather, consider their outfit, put said outfit on, reconsider their outfit, and maybe change once more. Layering is a black art. 

Stage 3 – Stepping out the door


Once you’re stepped out of the warmth of your home, the cold wind will smack you in the face and force you to reconsider your decision. You haven’t gotten sweaty yet, there’s still time to bail on your workout and climb back into your bed. 

Stage 4 – The first 10 minutes


The first 10 minutes of winter running are universally terrible. If you’ve layered properly, chances are you’re going to be pretty cold at the beginning. Remind yourself that this will all be over soon, and that the longer your run, the warmer you’ll be. 

Stage 5 – This isn’t so bad


Now that you’ve warmed up and worked into your run, you’re feeling pretty good. This is why you get out of bed in the morning, you love doing this. At this point you’re feeling like a winter running warrior, and maybe even getting a little cocky. 

Stage 6 – Body so warm, face so cold 


As your run comes to a close, you’re body will feel good, but your face will be colder than ever. Keeping your face warm throughout a run is very difficult but either a buff or face mask can help. Hopefully water isn’t freezing on your face but we can’t guarantee that. 

Stage 7 – Hot shower, right now


Congratulations, you did it. Run complete. And while your run might have been a little uncomfortable at times, at least it didn’t happen on the treadmill. 

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