Wednesday, April 6, 2016

10 Things I Will Miss About Winter Running

When I signed up for a marathon on May 1st, I knew that would mean training in the winter (though to be honest, I never expected winter to last THIS LONG). However, I had actually never run in the winter. It was not a well thought out plan. But over these past blistery, cold months I have run over 500km through snow, wind, ice, cold... you name it! I think I only ended up on the treadmill twice and that was due to freezing rain. I'm tough, but I'm not stupid enough to run in freezing rain.

Now that I'm hopefully seeing the end of winter running, I must admit there are a lot of things I am going to miss about it!

1. Pockets
Most of my runs were done with a long sleeved shirt, warm leggings, and a vest with zippered pockets. Oh how I will miss those pockets!! My running belt (a Flip Belt), is awesome, but running with pockets was such joy. So easy to grab my phone or stash my gloves if I didn't need them. When training with gels and chews I could just shove them in and remove with ease! I will miss pockets dearly.

2. Not Having to Get Up at the Crack of Dawn
In the summer it gets HOT and HUMID in Toronto, which means getting up at ungodly hours on the weekend to try and fit in a run before the heat hit (often unsuccessfully). In the winter I could sleep in until noon if I wanted!

Sunsets > Sunrises

3. No Sunscreen
While I do wear a light sunscreen on my face year round, I really didn't need to worry about sun protection on my long runs (except while in Cuba). Putting on a layer of sunscreen takes so much time with all the exposed skin in summer, and then you sweat it off (and into your eyes!) anyway. In the winter I can just dress and go.

Just try and find me, UV rays
4. No One on the Trail
I like to run along the Martin Goodman Trail, which is a paved path that follows the waterfront and rivers in Toronto, In the summer it is teeming with families and walkers who have no clue about how lanes work. It is so nice to not have to dodge people on my runs (fun fact- the marathon will actually end on this trail and it won't be closed to the public, so I might actually be dodging on marathon day if the weather is nice). It was kind of fun to run on cold dark nights and only see a couple people. Made me feel super hardcore.

5. Less Sweating, Less Chafing
With long distance running comes clothing and skin rubbing together to chafe you to death. However, in the winter I sweat less, and therefore chafe less! I have noticed a huge difference since my half marathon training last summer. My skin is so much happier. But I did pick up some BodyGlide to prevent chafing on race day!

( one needs a picture of this.)

6. Less Water
Another side effect of less sweating is less water needed on my runs. In the summer I always carry water and often refill at water fountains along my route. In the winter I seem to only need water on my long run and it lasts me the whole run. I have also had less issues with dehydration...a couple of times last summer I got ill after some runs and I always blamed dehydration.

My trusty waterbottle
7. Beating Back the Winter Blues
I have never felt as good as I have this past winter (and knock on wood, never been so healthy!). Getting all that fresh air obviously has been doing me lots of good. I have been happy and enjoying myself this whole training time. My energy has been up too (except for after my Sunday long run, when I am usually dead to the world). Lastly, I have never slept better!

8. It Doesn't Interfere with my Social Life
Summers are busy. So many vacations, pool parties, long walks, and patio beers to be drunk. It is hard to turn down plans with friends on beautiful sunny evenings and weekends! But the winter? My social calendar slows to a crawl. We all just kind of hole up in our homes and text/email each other to complain about the cold. It is great because nothing has really got in the way of my training. I have never been tempted to skip a run to see a friend. In the summer nice days might be fleeting, but in the winter all days are cold and dark so no one minds when I book dinner dates to align with my running schedule!

Got Sweet Jesus Ice Cream last week with my friend. It's still cold out. There was a line. Canadians are weird.

9. The Clothes!
I love my winter running clothing. I only allow myself one drawer for exercise clothes and it is stuffed. So much fun to have an excuse to buy new running outfits!! Basically everything I own is from Old Navy, especially their go-warm collection. So comfortable. And I needed surprisingly less layers than I thought. I wore my wind breaker only on the coldest days as I would sweat like crazy in it! Generally I wore a Buff, a headband over my ears, a long sleeved shirt, a vest, gloves, leggings, and wool socks. On the coldest days I'd throw on my wind breaker, a 2nd pair of pants, and my balaclava over all that. But honestly I only needed all that on 2-3 days! Yay for unseasonably warm winters!

For my half marathon last fall I finished in leggings and a Tshirt (I had arm covers that I ditched a few km in). And it was only slightly above freezing that day! You definitely don't need a parka to run outside.

These pants aren't from the go-warm collection, but I love them and wore them every week of training
10. Food

All the pie. All the cookies, All the breads. In my mouth. Winter is the time for fattening, delicious foods, and running is the time for carb loading. It is a match made in heaven.


  1. First, you ARE super hardcore. Winter running sounds like a dream. You are making me wish I ran outside in the winter and didn't stick to the treadmill. Although your neighbourhood is definitely more runner friendly than mine...
    I also love Old Navy workout clothes! Their tights and crops are the best!
    And I hear ya about never being so happy during winter. I walked outside almost every day at lunchtime and was the happiest during winter I've ever been. I usually get into a weather-related funk in January/February, but not this year!

  2. So you're to blame for this recent wintery weather?!

    Good luck on your last couple of weeks of training!


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