By Amber Bowman – Fitness Coach, Team USANA Athlete, Winner of The Dr. Oz Show’s “Trainer of the Year” Contest, and Firefighter
For those of us who live where the snow falls or the temperatures like to drop low, we have to get good at adapting our training. Whether you are a new or seasoned runner, you have got to get yourself in a good place to handle the winter paths.
1.The Why in Winter Running Tips
Before you even hit the ground running, I highly recommend that you know WHY you are running. Especially in the colder, more miserable seasons, where you may find yourself wanting to quit. If you have a reason, you’ll last longer than you ever thought.
Set some goals and milestones for yourself. As you reach and surpass goals, you’ll feel more motivated (and proud) to keep going.
3. The Buddy System
Find a running buddy or group. The accountability and motivation you’ll receive (and give) is priceless.
4. Endless Options
In the winter, remember you have options. You don’t actually always have to run outside. Running on a treadmill, cross country skiing or even Aqua Running (yes, it’s a real thing) are good alternatives to pounding the icy pavement.
I have trained many high-level athletes and teams who shifted their running program to the pool, and excelled because of it!
Running on the treadmill can be boring, so mix it up! Obviously, blast some good tunes, surround yourself with others who you can “race against” and be sure to adopt the “Fartlek” style, where you walk, jog, run… or simply add sprints to burn fat quicker!
5. Find the Right Gear
Get your gear prepared for the weather. Some people think because it’s cold you should “bundle up” before you run, but the secret is you want to “dress to sweat”. Do NOT wear heavy cotton materials. Instead, wear light, breathable, sweat-absorbable, running gear. You want to be more focused on blocking the wind, then feeling cozy in a cotton hoodie.
6. The Right Fit
Wear great shoes—not good shoes—great shoes. Find the pair that work best for your feet, and be sure to change them every 3 months. In the winter, you might change them twice if you are running a lot. They even have water resistance shoes now.
7. Make a Plan
Plan your week and map out your routes. You can do this in the summer or winter, but I find those committed to doing this, have a much bigger sense of accomplishment in the winter months.
8. Recovery is Key
Get smart with your recovery. Fuel for success (before and after) and make sure you are loving on your muscles. Foam rollers, stretching, water and adequate nutritional intake (eating carbs and protein right after a good run) are all key.
9. Play it Safe
Make sure you are safe when running outside. That pavement can be slippery and wet. Use caution and create alternatives for extreme days. Plus, if you tend to run on the road, be sure to run toward the traffic. As a firefighter, I must tell you how dangerous it is to run and not see the cars coming behind you.
Enjoy the ability to run and move in whatever your desired choice of movement is that day! Remember, you don’t have to be an Olympic runner, or be perfect, you just have to be a little bit better than yesterday.
About Amber Bowman
As a Canadian Female Firefighter and 22x Combat World Champ, Amber Bowman has really blazed the fitness scene with her company, Fit by Fire, where she motivates and inspires both women and men, to live a healthy, strong, successful life. Amber was recently crowned “Dr. OZ’s Trainer of the Year” and is a proud Team USANA Athlete. Check her out on Instagram @AmberBowmanFit and keep on moving.