Sore back, tight hamstrings and calf muscles, and a chill that won’t go away. That can only mean one thing: the return of winter running.
I went for my first true outdoor run of the winter season this weekend that included frigid temperatures, uneven snow, and some hidden slick spots.
I suffer growing pains at the start of every winter before my body adjusts. My sore body is a reminder to ease into it.
I woke up on Saturday to fluffy snowflakes falling. I knew I wanted to get in a long run and this was the perfect setting for it. So I donned my layers, threw on my shoes, and hit the snow. I am the queen of falling but managed to stay upright all run.
Regardless of whether I fell or not, I learned my lesson and should have eased into the winter running game instead of going full bore with a long run.
I’ll call it tips to avoid the post-run pains of that first winter run:
- Strengthen. Make sure you include lower body strength into your routine to take care of those ankles, knees and hips. The uneven surface is tough on them and can pose a higher injury risk.
- Even though it’s sweater season, you still have to keep that core strong. Hidden icy patches can have you stumbling around like you are on your way home from a holiday party, really testing your core. Incorporate core exercises during the rest portion of your strength training, or search core/back workouts. My personal favourites are under Get Focused on the Nike Training Club app.
- Slow down. Don’t expect to hold the same pace on your winter runs that you do in summer if the sidewalks aren’t clear. Pushing the pace will only increase your injury risk. Accept that you’ll probably be slower, and if you have a speed workout in the agenda, consider running it inside.
My next few runs will be shorter to let my body adjust before going long again! Happy winter, and happy running!
What are the temperatures where you live? What’s your favourite core routine? Share any links!