Kailey Lewis has been a part of the Jaybird marketing team for about 3 years. Originally an East Coaster, her love for snowboarding, hiking, and all things mountains relocated her to Lake Tahoe, CA to pursue her college career. She then relocated to Salt Lake City where she found her love for backcountry splitboarding, trail running, climbing, and mountain biking.
It’s 5:00 AM, there’s no sunlight in sight, the air is frigid, and your alarm jerks you out of a delightful dream. It’s time for your morning run. All you want to do is press ‘Snooze’ and roll over and fall right back into that deep sleep under the warmth of your blankets. But that race you’re training for is right around the corner, so you will yourself out of bed and slowly but surely prepare for your morning run. Don’t worry, it only gets easier from this moment on.
Finding time to get your winter training runs in can be daunting. It’s dark when we wake up to go to the office and before you know it the night has fallen before you even leave your desk to make the trek back home to comfort. Here’s a few tips that will make your winter runs a bit more enjoyable:
FIND A TRAINING BUDDY
Find someone who is as crazy as you to get out of bed at 5:00 AM and run in the pitch black with you to get your miles in before work. Having someone hold you accountable can help tremendously. When you’re lying in bed thinking about hitting that ‘Snooze’ button, you suddenly remember that someone is counting on you, so you get out of bed. It can be scary and unsafe running alone in the dark, so bring a buddy!
Sometimes you just need that extra bit of fuel to push you through the last few miles of your snowy run. My go-to snacks are CLIF Bloks and Honey Stinger Organic Vanilla Waffles. PROBARs are also in my running vest more often than not.
ALWAYS CARRY A HEADLAMP
Even if you are heading out for a midday run in the winter, plans can change. You could have planned for a 5 mile run, but discovered a new loop that leaves you out in the wilderness longer than expected. The darkness sets in quickly and before you know it, it’s pitch black by 5 PM.
BRING APPROPRIATE LAYERS
Winter weather can change in seconds. One minute it could be bluebird skies and sunny and the next minute, the wind is blowing and you can’t tell which way is up. This is why I always bring a packable down jacket and a water-proof or water-resistant jacket.
STOCK YOUR PACK WITH SAFETY AND EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT
I always carry a day hiker First Aid Kit and a space blanket in my running vest no matter when or where I am running. Oftentimes, First Aid Kits don’t come with waterproof matches, so I like to add some of those to my pack as well. You never know what can happen in the wilderness and it is smart to always be prepared to spend a night in the woods. I also have an emergency whistle attached to my vest.
GET TRACTION FOR YOUR SHOES
The trails around Salt Lake City can become ice-luges mid-winter. My favorite traction for winter running is Goat Head Gear Sole Spikes. They are small screws that you actually screw into the sole of your shoe that provide maximum traction on snow and ice. You can’t feel them at all, and when you take them out the small tip that was inserted leaves minimal impact to the bottom of your shoe. On days when the trail can vary from rock, to ice, and back to rock a better option would be Kahtoola Microspikes. I also always wear Salomon Gaiters to protect my ankles from mud and snowy.
Poles can be very helpful when you’re running on slippery surfaces such as snow and ice. Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles are a great option as they come with interchangeable rubber tips and carbide tips.
I always bring my YETI Rambler Bottle with hot tea or hot chocolate and leave it in my car for a nice delight after my run.
I hope that these tips help you extend your training season. Running in the snow and cold can be a blast and super rewarding if you take the time to get prepared!
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