One of the most attractive things about running is that it’s so accessible. That’s easy to forget when winter rolls around and the temperature drops—there’s just something about the cold air, slippery conditions, and growing darkness that turns people away from the streets and trails, holding them captive in their homes. It’s understandable. Getting yourself out of a nice warm house into the freezing air is hard, but give it a try and you’ll discover a whole new world of magical experiences that belong solely to winter runners.
Running In the Snow
Your first few steps will probably be timid, but the differences in gait and foot placement come quickly. Within a few yards, that confidence you built on clear roads in warmer weather will return and you’ll get to experience your neighborhood or favorite trail with added solitude and a blanket of pristine, winter beauty.
The Gift of Shoes
Probably the best material gift a runner can get for the holidays is a new pair of shoes. I’m sure most of us look forward to this for months and then wait anxiously for a nice day to test them out. Don’t wait—take a few miles of holiday peace; life doesn’t get much better!
Jingle Bell Runs
These fun 5Ks encourage people to dress up in holiday colors while they trot through the course with jingling bells on their shoes and are a must try for any runner. It’s nearly impossible not to feel the holiday spirit when you’re surrounded by happy runners and jingle bells.
Christmas Lights on Foot
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s still fun to see the houses lit up and feel the excitement in the air. Removing the windshield from the equation and experiencing the colorful lights with nothing but the dark crisp night air between you and them is the ultimate holiday experience. Bring along your favorite running partner and it only gets better.
There’s something refreshing about taking the first steps into a blank, white world. Fresh pow has long been the domain of skiers and snowboarders but those flakes that fell on your street, on your route? Those are for you to enjoy.
If you’re a gear junky, winter may just be your new favorite season. Some of the most fun, unique, and sometimes silly running gear comes out for winter running—shoe chains, long spandex, snow gaiters, reflective everything, ear warmers, head lamps—hell even an avalanche beacon if you’re into hardcore mountain runs. You spent the money on those toys, now go play with them!
Winter running isn’t for the faint hearted but is any running really? Don’t let the cold hold you back. Those crunchy steps into the darkness will someday be among your favorites.