Wednesday, 11 February 2015

3 Reasons to Try Winter Running

It usually around this time that I start getting asked lots of questions about winter running. Do I always run outside in the winter? What kind of shoes do I wear? How do I stay warm? How often do I fall over?

I confess I hate the dreadmill. For me it is mostly mental. I hate running in one spot staring at the same thing for any significant length of time. I will use it if my training requires any serious speed workouts this time of year, but otherwise I prefer to tough it out outside.

Layering is required. I definitely don't run very fast while I am out there. But winter running requires a lot of effort because of the uneven terrain and the cold temps, so I always feel really strong by the time the Spring Race season rolls around.

I know it can be hard to feel motivated and get excited about heading out in this kind of weather, so here are my Top 3 Reason to Try Winter Running...

1. Endorphin Boost 
Well to start, its pretty well known that exercise floods you with feel good endorphins. But did you know that because your body has to work harder in the cold, your endorphin levels get that extra boost. So when you finish your cold weather workout you feel that extra bit happier. Definitely a bonus for this stressed-out crazy-pants. And definitely a bonus when the succession of grey days can make you feel a little Blah!

2. Tough Conditions Build Tough Runners
The Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise recently published an article trumpeting the effects of the chilly workout. Your body has to work harder to stay warm; so you are more likely to run faster and burn more calories. WOOHOO! All good news in my books (especially as a Canadian gal who frequently runs in the cold)!

3. Extra Resistance Training
And all of the snow and slippery surfaces we face during this delightful season also offers us winter runners extra resistance training. You are forced to utilize your smaller stabilizing muscles as you navigate those treacherous paths. And the resistance created while trudging through the snow offers a more intensive workout and allows runners to get the benefits of both cardio and strength training. (** always use your caution and discretion though to avoid injury**)

So what do you think, will you give Winter Running a try?

Happy Running!
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,