Winter Training Tips

      15 Comments on Winter Training Tips

When I picked my first 1/2 marathon, I thought I was thinking it through.  I made sure to allow enough time for training; I didn’t pick the middle of summer so to try and avoid extreme heat; I didn’t pick too early in the year so that I’d train all winter…uhh.  About that last one – I guess I could have used a liiiitle more time on it. 😉


Because as you know, I HAVE been training all winter.  I haven’t allowed the cold weather or snow to derail my training.  Sometimes it may slightly postpone a run or two, but I’ve still been successful at completing my training thus far.  (Knock on wood.)


So the question lies, how have I done it?


-The biggest thing for me has been to stay consistent with my training schedule.  If I get off one day, it usually makes the rest of the week harder to re-arrange.  This has still happened a few times (sometimes LIFE just happens) but otherwise I make sure to stay consistent and follow the plan.


-Look at the week ahead and plan my workouts like any other appointment.  I think this is important for many people – someone looking to make fitness a new habit, someone with a really busy schedule, or someone training for a race or event.


-Continue to run outside!  This has been huge.  I honestly believe my continuing to run outside this winter has helped my lungs strengthen and my body get used to the elements.  I often run my “shorter” distances on the treadmill at the gym and leave my long run for the great outdoors.  (This past weekend was my only exception to that rule thus far.)


-And of course, dress warm!  Layers, gloves, scarf, hat – all necessary!


Now, I’m no expert at winter training – this is my first 1/2 marathon and my first winter as a runner seeing as winter doesn’t exist in Southern California, but these tips have made running through some of the coldest days


Are you a winter runner?

What are some of your winter training tips?

15 thoughts on “Winter Training Tips

  1. Calee

    love the tip about running outside (as long as it’s safe). as gross as it seems sometimes, running outdoors is key to any training plan. you’re not going to run your race on a treadmill. and it could be 10 degrees out on race day. you never know!

    my tips for winter training:
    1) wear layers and expect to shed / re-clothe whilst running
    2) SLOW down if it’s below freezing and look ahead for any potential slick spots. expect to run 30 seconds slower per mile than usual because you’ll have extra layers on and need to watch for potential danger.
    3) step in fresher-fallen snow if you are forced to choose between ice / packed down snow and fresher snow — will be less slick
    4) do some speed work on a treadmill once a week
    5) do loops of a smaller mileage closer to home (or a “base”) location where you can stop in to get warm / get water when it is really really cold out
    6) make sure somebody knows where you are going and how long you’ll be gone. if you fall and it’s cold out and aren’t able to get to a phone, you could be stuck, and that’s dangerous
    7) carry a phone
    8) have a road ID on you in case you do fall and somebody finds you (these are really scary situations but you get the picture)
    9) do some extra balance training on cross training days to help you navigate snow and ice
    10) don’t be afraid to get wet/muddy/dirty. it will probably happen.

    this was going to be a post all on its own, but since i am not really running this year, i never got around to posting it.

  2. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome

    You go girl! I am so not a cold weather runner. If the temp is below 60 I have a hard time dragging my butt out the door. Oh and don’t even mention windy! See ya! I’m headed to the gym! You will do awesome by the time your half arrives after all your cold weather training!

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks, girl! It’s definitely not easy to talk myself into a 20* run, but I am thankful I’ve been able to. Todays challenge is the rain…

  3. Katie Williams

    I never have run outside before say MAY until this year. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you layer up and hit the pavement, even if it is covered by snow :)! Way to keep after it!

    1. admin Post author

      I was living in So Cal for the last 3 years and I didn’t have to worry about that. Moving back to IL, I didn’t know if I would run outside through the winter but ultimately I have and I’m really happy with that decision.

  4. Nicole @ FruitNFitness

    Thanks for the tips! I am also training for my first half marathon, but I have been a big baby and have only been running inside. I have a 10 mile fun race this weekend and with the snow we currently have I will have to make sure to layer up!

  5. De @ Cooking for the Other Half

    I am impressed by your willpower and diligence! I am a wuss and can’t bring myself to run outside in the winter. I am all about the gym during the cold months, but truth be told- it doesn’t feel as good as running outside. Le sigh!

    1. admin Post author

      You’re right, it does not feel as good as running outside but sometimes you do what you gotta do!

  6. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    Layering up is key!! If you dress warmly, running outside is not that bad and can actually be really nice. A few of my favorite runs have been after a first snowfall, early in the morning. It’s so liberating and peaceful. 🙂

    1. admin Post author

      I love early morning runs. Few cars, few people and like you said, just peaceful.

Comments are closed.