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!
Check out Kailey’s running playlist:
Keep in touch with Kailey!
Japanuary, as it’s commonly referred to these days, is a big deal. The secret is out and things are rapidly changing for the snow scene in the land of the rising sun. As winter can easily fluctuate here in the west, especially in January, more often than not we’re left with a lot of high pressure and warm weather making the migration over to Japan an easy choice. With the odds heavily in our favor, the chance of getting that classic Japow “best day of your life” snow is pretty much guaranteed. With so many shred choices from the North to South Island it’s pretty easy to ditch the crowds and find that off the beaten path family resort. The best advice I always give to anybody heading over for the first time is to go hang with a local. The experience is so much richer and you’re always in for a treat when dining at those tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Just be prepared when they bring out the chicken heart, Nato, horse or any raw meat. It’s always a surprise and sometimes best not to ask what it is first. Regardless of how many times I have been to Japan over the years I always come back home feeling refreshed, inspired and the powder tank is overflowing leaving a nice glow for weeks. This place is truly one of a kind and if you’re a snowboarder or skier it should be at the top of your list!
Keep in touch with Andrew!
The Winter Olympics holds a special place for our crew. We were born in the mountains, and we’re based in Park City, Utah, home to a handful of the 2002 Winter Olympic events. Sports like skiing are in our blood, and we know how important music is for staying in the zone during rigorous training.
This is why we’re extremely proud to announce a new partnership today with USA Nordic, the national leadership organization of ski jumping and nordic combined in the United States. Through this partnership, we plan to support the national team as they pursue their World Cup and Olympic dreams by bringing powerful sound, innovation, and motivation to the team.
The coolest thing about USA Nordic is that not only are they an elite Nordic ski jumping and Nordic combined organization focused on team training and overall development of the sport, but they’re also our neighbors, based right here in Park City.
We’re not just working with USA Nordic on their quest for gold, but also on growing the sport in the United States. We plan to help them develop best practices in their training and support athletes as they transition from competition to a career. By working with the team’s athletes, we’ll also be using their expertise to help create new products and innovations that help athletes perform at their peak through music.
Photos by: Greg Snyder
Check out the teaser video for the The Nordic Journey series below to see the team powering their passion in the freezing temps of high-altitude Park City, and look for episodes featuring Nordic athlete interviews to follow!
We feel really lucky to have a loyal community stoking our passion everyday, and we want to celebrate you this Christmas season with our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway! 12 Days of Christmas is a special giveaway where we’ll be giving away a pair of buds (X3, FREEDOM 2, or RUN chosen at random) daily during the 12 days leading up to Christmas.
All you need to do is hashtag #12daysofjaybird on your running photos on Instagram. We’ll choose a winner each day beginning December 13th until Christmas Eve. We hope you keep using music as a tool to get you out the door on the crisp days ahead. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
-Follow @jaybirdsport on Instagram
-Hashtag #12daysofjaybird on your running photos on Instagram
-Have fun and get psyched for the holidays!
“I enjoy how winter makes you change things up. You need to embrace the slog fest, put on some winter traction (I like micro-spikes) and breath in that fresh mountain air.” – Timothy Olson, Jaybird Athlete
“The Holidays are always full of hustle and bustle, I love running during this time of year as a way to slow down my mind and reflect on the things that are most important; family, friends, health, and gratitude.” – Luke Nelson, Jaybird Athlete
“While the holidays can be some of the best times of the year, they can also be very stressful. The combo of sitting around more and stuffing my face w/ holiday treats can lead me to feeling less than stellar physically and mentally. That’s why I love to get out in the fresh air for a run. Best way to clear my mind, and work off all those rich holiday foods. Running during the holidays also benefits my family as I’m much more pleasant to be around after I’ve gotten my ya-yas out!” – Rory Bosio, Jaybird Athlete
By: Nick Russell
Never leave powder for powder. It should be as simple as that, right? Saying it out loud, it makes perfect sense. Why would I leave home during a monumental storm cycle that is about to hit? That was my mindset entering this opportunity to shred in Canada.
Tahoe locals said they haven’t seen it like this in years, maybe ever. The stoke is high. As the snowfall slowly started to increase in intensity, I was invited last minute on a trip to a new mountain range I had never been to with a great crew of friends. This was clearly an amazing opportunity. It also seemed as if conditions in the Sierra would be unsettled in the backcountry for the foreseeable future. I didn’t buy a season pass this winter, so the majority of my riding is done via splitboard. As the avalanche danger rose to extreme for all elevations, I agreed to the trip and booked a flight departing in three days north of the border. Perhaps it’s the internal desire to seek fresh experiences, the allure of riding in a new place is always present. It’s always difficult for me to turn down an invitation.
Several days pass and snow accumulations have met and surpassed the forecasted amounts. Snowpocalypse, Januburried, Snowmageddon. Several names for this colossal storm have been circulating throughout town. We lost power for more than two days and the driveway was completely snowed in, not letting anyone in or or out. There is a looming hesitation about leaving. Unable to contain excitement or hold back from getting in the snow, I pick up a powsurfer from the garage and wiggle my way down the driveway. Luckily for me, Jeremy Jones lives up the street and his backyard connects to a perfect pitch tree run. We are met by snowboard pioneer Jim Zellers for a memorable session riding funky boards with no bindings.
For those that don’t know, “FOMO” is a real thing. The fear of missing out is most prevalent for those of us whose lives revolve around changes in the weather. Scoring ideal conditions requires patience and being in the right place at the right time. Leading up to my departure date, the anxiety of bailing just as the storm of the century cleared out was reaching its tipping point.
Most of the resorts have been closed all week due to obvious setbacks in their daily operations. As the storm slowly began pushing east towards Utah, glimpses of blue skies became visible on the horizon. My good friend and roommate Danny Davis was kind enough to line up a lift ticket for me at Squaw Valley to ride for a couple hours before my flight at 3pm. Waiting in line for a delayed opening, everyone stared in awe and anticipation as ski patrol made waist deep turns on their way down the slopes. I hadn’t even strapped in yet, but something told me I wasn’t going to be getting on that plane in the afternoon.
It was a day of purity. Waist deep snow, friends, and manageable lift lines. Lately is has been the crowds, and quickly tracked out snow, which deter me from resorts. This day was an anomaly. Thirty minutes before my flight was set to depart from Reno, I called to cancel. I am snowed in.
The following days provided multiple consecutive best days ever. In less than a week, the avalanche danger went from Extreme to Low on all aspects at all elevations. The temperatures were staying cold and preserving the snow in a state of perfection. We were able to rip lines down to the lake, many of which haven’t been rideable in years. Moving further off the beaten skintrack as the week progressed, I was able to view and ride peaks which I had only seen on Google Earth, until now. As a relative newcomer to the Sierra Nevada, each day out in the field might as well be in another part of the world. I am content with my decision to stay.
The majority of my days in the mountains are spent walking. This provides hours upon hours for the mind to race outside of immediate surroundings. For the most part, I live in a bubble. My daily stresses are minimal, my biggest concerns are the winds and freezing levels. Splitboarding allows me to step out of my track and into the reality of the injustices and hardships being imposed on our earth and fellow humans living here with us. While I am not on the front lines in a large city, my support lies with everyone on the side of love.
It’s necessary to listen to those gut instincts. The ones that remain rooted throughout the decision making process. Our hearts always know which path to take. It is a road that is driven by intuition and passion. There will be pot holes and road closures along the way. While some detours will be forewarned with notice, others will come out of the night to try and flip you over. We must all remain strong and keep fighting. Read the news, sign petitions, protest if you can and spread awareness to friends and family around the world that we will not stand for evil.
Information and petitions to help protect our planet:
You look outside your front window and see the world beautifully covered in white. You’re content with just watching the slowly falling snow while holding your hot cup of morning coffee. I can skip my run today. It’s too cold and it could be slippery.
You figure you’ll wait till January to recommit yourself to your running routine. Right now all you want to do is snuggle under the covers of your warm bed.
You know that you could run in the winter, but you don’t feel like it.
With motivation and proper clothing, running in winter can be enjoyable.
Here are some ways you can stay motivated and be properly prepared for cold, winter running:
The dark, the cold, the snow. These can easily sap our motivation to commit to our running routines.
The most effective way of staying motivated is through accountability and running with others. Having someone hold you accountable to your running goals and routines will spur you to carry them out.
Running with others is another way to keep you from flaking out on your runs. Knowing that your running buddy will be waiting for you will push you to the finish line.
Dress for The Cold
Depending on where you live, you’ll likely have to brave the snow, rain or both while running in winter. In addition, there may be wind and cold temperatures you’ll have to contend with. To be comfortable and safe during your winter runs, it is important to dress appropriately. How do you know how warm to dress? You want to be warm, but you also don’t want to wear too many layers that you get too hot while running. How do you find the right balance?
Some athletes recommend dressing for a temperature of 20 degrees warmer than it really is. The chilliness at the start of your run will go away as your body warms up further into your run.
Remember Your Feet
Nothing is more uncomfortable than wet, cold and prunny feet after a wet, winter run. When running in winter, it’s important to have the appropriate footwear that keep your feet dry and warm. Choose a pair of shoes that have less mesh and wear socks that wick away moisture that also keep your feet warm.
In the winter months, the hours of daylight become shorter meaning your after-work run will be in the dark. For night running, you want to be clearly visible. Wear reflective, brightly-colored clothing and bring along a flashlight or headlamp to make yourself clearly visible. The light will also help you see where you’re going.
Warm Up Pre-run
The cold air won’t seem as bad when you move around and get the blood flowing before your run. The warm-up will also keep your muscles from cramping up from the cold. If you’re meeting others for a group run, don’t stand around outside too long before your run.
Change Quickly Post-Run
After your run, it is important to get warm to avoid the post-run chills. Change out of your damp running clothes and drink something hot. If your hair is wet, put on a dry hat.
Handle the Elements
Winter often brings adverse running conditions. If it isn’t snow and ice, it is likely wind and rain.
On windy runs, it is best to start your run with the wind in your face and have the wind at your back at the end of your run. The wind can easily bring on the chills after you’ve broken a sweat, so you want it at your back.
You can also choose a running course that has an abundance of wind-blocking features, such as buildings.
Running in the rain or snow can result in wet and soggy shoes and socks. Below are handy tricks that minimize the wet discomfort and quickly dry your shoes afterwards:
- Rotate shoes
- Bring extra pairs of shoes and socks
- Wear plastic bags over the feet inside the shoes
- Insert crumpled newspaper inside drying shoes
Take it Slow
Slippery, wet roads and trails can make winter running dangerous. The extremely cold temperatures can also cause frostbite if you’re outside too long.
Instead of doing a long run, try doing multiple shorter runs. Frostbite and hyperthermia are some of the major dangers that you can catch if you’re outside for long periods of time. If you must do a longer run, do it in the middle of the day when it is the warmest.
Don’t be suckered into hibernating this winter. The cold days of winter shouldn’t stop your running routine. If you’re able to overcome the mental barrier of being unmotivated and the physical barrier of not being appropriately dressed or incorrectly handling the elements, you can succeed in maintaining your winter running routine.
Who knows? Maybe running in the cold of winter will be something you enjoy rather than dread.
From the first hint of morning frost on the ground to the long, dark days of deep snow and ice of late winter, there’s nothing our bodies would rather do than bundle up with a warm beverage, an even warmer blanket, and tell ourselves that it’s okay to go into hibernation for a couple months.
It can’t be that bad, right? Bears do it, and look how strong they are. Come to think of it, hibernating in the winter is practically natural.
And yet, it’s really not. The further we sink into winter doldrums the harder it is to claw our way back out.
To that end, we propose the anti-hibernation theory – some simple tips and tricks to stay active during the winter months. (You can still make time to enjoy the warm blanket and beverage, as long as you still got your activity done for the day.)
Make an Action Plan
Your worst enemy for winter activity is the thought: “It’s a little too cold today, but I’ll do something tomorrow no matter what.
Take the time to write down a plan for daily activity. Treat it like a real, set appointment. This means putting it on a calendar and having your phone send reminders. Do whatever it takes to make physical activity a real priority for the winter.
Get Involved with Winter Sports
Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and even sledding are activities that you can usually only do in the winter, so you might as well take this opportunity to mix up your normal routines and expand your repertoire of recreational activities.
If you’ve never gone cross-country skiing before, that’s a new kind of workout you’re not going to forget anytime soon. Same with snowshoeing. There are a lot of seasonal opportunities, so take advantage of them while you can.
Go Indoors for Your Workout
Indoor pools, health clubs, and rec centers offer a lot of great options. You can join a team or sign up for some recreational basketball, tennis, or racquetball. You can enjoy a swim a couple times a week or even take some yoga classes. (That last one even has special classes that are all about doing workouts in excessively hot rooms. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay warm…)
Go for a Walk
Yes, it’s cold outside, but if you’re dressed in layers, you can still take a quick, 30-minute walk without freezing. And, just 30 minutes of activity a day can really help you feel more energized and refreshed. It may not seem like much, but even a short walk every day can help you stay fit and healthy throughout the cold months.
Try “Stealth” Exercises
You can get a lot of exercise without anyone ever knowing that’s what you’re doing. Walk the mall. Vacuum the floor. Shovel the snow. Rearrange the furniture. Play with the kids. There are countless ways to sneak in some exercise that others may not even recognize as exercise.
Whether you’re taking a few extra trips up and down your stairs or using the longer nights to go dancing at more clubs, if you’re staying active, it counts as exercise.
A lot of us have bought a piece of workout equipment thinking: if I have this at home, I’ll totally work out every day. These things usually collect more dust than they burn calories. Then, there are those of us who see those happy, active people on the front cover of a DVD and think: they seem to be having fun and I want to be like that. These DVDs usually get buried somewhere in the back of a closet.
The winter is the perfect time to dust them off and put those investments to good use.
Revel in Your Victories
Let yourself enjoy the fact that you just conquered the weather. You’ve stepped up and faced the challenge. You’ve fought the cold and came back victorious. This deserves a victory dance (which is another great way to stay active). As you start to rack up these wins, you’ll start to crave the challenge. The snow won’t be a deterrent anymore. It will be an invitation!
Be Safe and Healthy
The cold air can be more than a motivational impediment for many people. The winter air can make it difficult for some to breath and even trigger chest pains. As with any workout, always check with your doctor to properly address any medical concerns.
Winter Is Coming, but It Won’t Last Forever
Winter can naturally bring people down, and the shorter and longer nights contribute to darker moods. Regular workouts, however, can help improve your mood, increase energy levels, and even help you sleep through those cold nights better. There is even some research that suggests staying active may strengthen your immune system too, which means avoiding the traditional colds and coughs.
There may be a serious temptation to shut down and hibernate through the long winter, but by finding ways to stay active you can make these cold months a little more enjoyable. More importantly, you’ll come out the other side of it energized and ready to conquer spring, too.
Photo by Adam Clark
- Don’t listen to your parents when they tell you to go to graduate school and become a lawyer, doctor or businessperson. Don’t listen to anyone. They don’t understand your dream. Only you know what’s possible for you.
- Live within your means. Move to a place where you can do that and ski regularly. There aren’t too many ski towns like that left, but they are out there. Don’t acquire debt. Then ski a lot. Find other pros or aspiring pros to ski with. Contact local videographers and photographers to shoot.
- Figure out your personal brand and start building it. Keep your social media pages and websites updated with information that shows who you are. Research your ski idols and figure out how they built their careers. Contact potential sponsors that align with the personal brand you’ve developed.
- Plan to spend some time each week on the computer. Being in charge of a ski career is similar to running a small business. Prepare to learn how to do your own accounting, marketing, advertising, sales, negotiations and production.
- Set realistic goals for yourself. Start working on them. Figure out what your sponsors goals are, and figure out how you can contribute to their goals. Being able to throw a double cork or skiing the gnarliest line doesn’t mean you should get sponsored. Figure out the value you can bring to the companies you want to work for.
- Keep a job with a flexible schedule that allows you to ski during the day until you can make enough skiing to quit your job. Live with your parents (even though you disagree about your career choices doesn’t mean you can’t be agreeable to live around) or couch surf with friends. If you travel, keep it cheap. Offer to make dinner for the hosts whose couches you will be crashing on. Do dishes, keep it tidy. Leave any “base camp” you visit cleaner and better than you found it.
- When you’re not skiing, and you’re trying to make ends meet, Hustle. Pick up odd jobs. Organize and run yard sales for your friends and families to make some extra skrilla. You’d be amazed at how much you can make for piles of stuff people want to get rid of. Get a food sponsor. You gotta eat.
- When you do get that call from the photographer, it’s time to get some shots in the bag. Be professional. Show up on time, with your gear organized. Don’t be hungover. Don’t talk too much, listen to the direction from the photographer. Now you are going to realize that being a pro skier isn’t exactly what you think it is. Powder days are spent moving at snail paces with film crews. Shooting is about finding quality snow and terrain, not how many laps you can get in.
- Develop a thick skin for rejection and public criticism. You will hear a lot of nos, from sponsors, from photographers, from other athletes. Keep doing what you love and persisting. Have fun and be safe. Make sure you have health insurance and consider disability insurance.