Winter Running: Is it Overrated?

By Dan Gardner, TOCA Special Running Correspondent

Now that the holidays are over and we’ve given proper reverence to our selected “turkey or other relevant main course,” it’s time to get back to some serious conditioning. REALLY.

Where there is snow on the ground/roadways, running in the northern states can sometimes be challenging. However, wintertime running can be invigorating, as long as you prepare appropriately. (For those of you who live or winter in the South, you can skip to the bottom of this piece as this mostly deals with cold-weather workouts.) Since I winter part time in Florida, I’ll skip that myself.

In regard to running outside in the winter, a Runner’s World magazine article said, “WINTER RUNNING – Because being able to feel your extremities is overrated.” This is slightly funny as the best part of running in northern climates is that wonderful feeling upon finishing and going back indoors. Seriously, if you’re going to jog outside, prepare for an exhilarating workout. Dress in layers and spend quality time preparing for the run. Stretch more so your muscles are prepared.

Quick Tips: 1. Use shoes with the least amount of mesh and wear socks that can help keep your feet warm. 2. Wear gloves and stocking cap. 3. Wear reflective clothes and carry a flashlight if running early or late; it’s challenging to see around snowbanks for people driving cars. 4. If it’s windy, start into the wind so you finish with the wind at your back. 5. IF IT’S BELOW ZERO, RUN INDOORS!

Finally, be thinking while you run about all the ways to make TOCA the best membership association it can be and how YOU can play a part in making TOCA the best it can be. Until next time, be well, be smart, be healthy and be TOCA!

Last year, I put the following message to close my winter column: Anyone who responds positively to the editors regarding this issue’s running article will be rewarded famously at the next TOCA Annual Meeting. Katie Beth Groover did and she was rewarded famously in Charlotte. Let’s try again. The TOCA Annual Meeting is only a few months away – this year in Denver. Let’s get a big turnout once again for the TOCA Run/Walk. Can spring be far away?


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