Abelone Lyng

How to Become a Winter Runner
By Abelone Lyng.

Abelone got here blog at Norwegian Runners World and maybe you met her at Fýri Trail, she made the 29k just over four hours…

We all have a favorite time of year, and winter might not be at the top of the list of the top 4 seasons, especially if you’re not a skiing enthusiast or don’t have other winter activities to look forward to. But if you let the runner in you hibernate throughout the long nordic winter, it can be challenging to get back into it when spring heralds a new running season. Here are my tips for winter running and how to keep your running motivation high when the nights get long and the cold sets in.

Keep Your Feet Warm with Merino Socks

Wearing merino socks on your feet will keep you warm even when running in wet snow. On the coldest days, it may be wise to use two layers of wool socks, with the outer layer slightly thicker. There are also waterproof socks (Sealskinz) that can be used if you’re running in very wet snow, but these can feel a bit uncomfortable to run with.

Keep Your Hands Warm

My tip for keeping your hands warm is to use wool liners on the inside and mittens that protect against wind and moisture on the outside. If it’s extremely cold or if you easily get cold, thermal mittens can be used.

Bundle Up with Buffs and Hats

A buff or two, preferably made of wool, will keep you warm around the neck and can also be pulled over the nose and mouth. Prevent heat loss from the head by wearing a hat or headband and the hood on your jacket.

Choose the Right Shoes for Winter Running

When the ground is icy and slippery, it’s best to run with spiked shoes. Traction devices can be used, but they don’t provide the same running experience. There are many good spiked shoes on the market; choose one that fits your foot. Also, be aware that there’s a difference between spiked shoes primarily used for winter trail running and those for asphalt running. If you’re running mostly on asphalt, you may need a more cushioned version than if you’re running in snowy forests.

See and Be Seen!

A good headlamp is one of the most important things to bring on your winter runs. It provides safety, allowing you to see where you’re running and making you visible to others.

A good headlamp should be almost unnoticeable when worn. A headlamp used for running must fit well on the head and be stable. When running in terrain, it’s also an advantage if you can adjust the angle of the lamp based on the terrain, whether it’s uphill, flat, or downhill. There are many headlamps to choose from, but if you choose a running-specific headlamp, you know that it’s designed with the runner’s needs in mind. And don’t forget reflectors! A good reflector vest for runners makes you visible to drivers even in pitch darkness.

Slow Down Your Pace

Winter is a good time for long, easy runs. Focus on improving endurance rather than speed. Speed workouts and intervals outdoors in winter can lead to slips, strains, and discomfort from the cold airways. Several months of many long, relaxing runs, preferably in the snow, prepare the body for speed and excitement when spring arrives.

Mix It Up on the Treadmill

Sometimes, it’s not tempting to run outside, no matter how good your clothes are. In that case, the treadmill can be a good alternative. Vary your treadmill sessions to avoid getting bored. Play with speed and incline. How about replacing the distance goal with an elevation goal next time you take a treadmill session?

Sign Up for a Winter Race

Having a race to train for can provide a real motivation boost, but you might think it’s a long way to spring and the racing season is in full swing again? Well, sign up for a winter race! Check out Silva Night Run, Winter Run, and especially the Frozen Lake Marathon. The Nordic countries offers some really cool running experiences in winter, and people travel halfway around the world to participate in a race like the Frozen Lake Marathon.

Face Winter with a Smile

If you manage to turn the long Nordic winter into something positive for your running, time will pass quickly. I always look forward to winter when the forest transforms into a winter wonderland with snow-covered trees and frost. If it gets cold enough, I can run on the ice on the lakes, seeing the forest from a different perspective. But I also know that the Scandinavian winter can bring gray and wet winter days. Days that make the doorstep seem extra-long. It’s good to think that every time you take that trip in the lousy weather, you’re not just building endurance. You also become a more robust runner. You get toughened up, so the weather you get on race days in the summer is not so important. Then you won’t be thrown off course just because the weather forecast predicts a little rain and wind when you’re going to run the race that is your main goal for the season.