Running: My winter plan

little dog running snow 25 dogs on a runners highI’ve explained my long up and down relationship history with running here. There I said, “Actually, if running and I had a relationship status on Facebook it would say “it’s complicated.” And that’s still true. But I’m feeling fit these days and very strong.

And as winter approaches I think I’m ready to try again. The thing is I love being outside. And when I’m running, that’s one time I can stand the cold. It’s funny. I hear people talk about moving their running inside to the track or (shudder) the treadmill at the very time that I’m starting to get keen.

I love how quiet it is issue in the winter. I love the sound of crunching snow. Winter is my favorite running season.

I’m up early three mornings a week for CrossFit and I think I’d like to try running on the other two weekdays. There’s a nice 4 km loop around my house. When I did it before I did the loop once alone and then again with my running friends, the dogs, at a more uneven pace with lots of stops for sniffing, with squirrel sprints thrown in for good measure. I’ve written about my dogs before. See Dogs are natural intuitive exercisers  and Injuries, exercise, and thank God for dogs. Dogs are great company to run with because they are so happy to be out there and they love running. For 25 dogs with runners’ high, see here.

I don’t expect that I’ll be able to extend my range much beyond 10 km given my history of running injuries but 10 km would be enough to do most of the duathlons I’m interested in, I think. I’ve also enjoyed some of the adventure races but they have obstacle breaks built in and so again I think 10 km is probably fine. I’ll be curious to see whether I can make any speed gains this time round. I’m certainly a lot stronger now. In the past my 5 km times got pretty good, down to 25 minutes after regular speed training on the track, but my 10 km seemed stuck. It didn’t matter that I got faster at 5 km my fastest 10 km is slow, 1:08. Distance isn’t my friend!

I’ll report back and let you know how I’m doing…and any advice? Throw it my way.


6 thoughts on “Running: My winter plan

  1. Glad to hear you’re going to get back into it in a more regular way! I don’t have a lot of advice because I’m also not the strongest runner, but you might try an app, like ease into 10K, to help you develop a sensible program to extend your distance. I like it — it tells me when to run, when to walk. And you can also skip ahead if the program for the day seems too long, or go back to an earlier program if you want something different than what’s ‘scheduled.’

  2. I second the recommendation for the Ease into 10k app, or if you’ve been running 5ks fairly regularly, the Bridge to 10k app.

    I love running in winter, but haven’t been doing it much the last few years because I run in minimalist shoes (Vibrams or Merrills) and haven’t figured out how to deal with the unending slush that we get in upstate NY. I can’t deal with cold, wet feet. Running on an indoor track was great for transitioning to the shoes–I would run 25 mins, then switch to the VFFs and do 5, then the next week I would do 20 and 10, and so on until I was running 30 minutes straight in the VFFs. It’s just so much more fun outside, though!

  3. This sounds like a great plan. Adding running to your routine 2x/week seems like a good way to enjoy the winter and prep for your duathlons. I’m primarily a runner, but have had more than my fair-share of over-use injuries. In the past year, I’ve committed to cross-training and run only 3x/week – interestingly my times across all distances (5K – marathon) have never been better. Enjoy!

  4. I love running in the cold. I don’t get to do it very often but when I’m going somewhere I know will be cold – Chicago, New Jersey, Utah – I definitely pack my cold weather running gear. It’s such a pleasant feeling when the air is crisp. No worries about overheating at all, not too much sweating. It’s lovely.

  5. I also love running in the cold though when I had a recent conversation with a co-worker he was aghast at the risks if running on snow/ice. To me having an enjoyable cold run is all about the clothes. I wear wool socks, wool leggings, a sleeveless or short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve active top that the sleeves can be shoved up when I start to warm up, a thin LL Bean shell jacket also with sleeves that can be pushed up, wool flap hat, fingerless or covertable gloves/mittens, when its really cold a thin wool gaiter that can act as a almost full head covering, and the only time I wear one when running a sweatshirt material skirt (keeps the checks a little warmer). I’m sure gear is even more important in Canada with its even colder temperatures but it took me three winters of running to figure out I needed warm layers that wouldn’t be too warm once I started really going – thus all the things that can be shoved up or pulled down and options for hands so they don’t get too sweaty.

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