6 Things that Make Winter Running Amazing

©istockphoto/Mac99
©istockphoto/Mac99

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.

Fresh Snow
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.

Gear
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.