Running in the winter with Kahtoola Crampons! Running with the right clothes and the right cleats!
As every year, winter is upon us. To the runner, the winter season manifests itself much in the same way as does torture by drops of water.
During the first few outings, it's acceptable, however after 3 months of running in the cold and in the white "crap", it becomes a rather big ordeal. Nevertheless, certain inflexible individuals will choose to run in winter. I am one of them, even if, I confess, I hate winter! However, even more still, I despise the treadmill. I therefore had no choice, I learned to run in the winter and even to enjoy myself at the same time.
Running in the winter requires running intelligently.
The freedom offered by the beautiful summer season where we can frolic freely in any street or path is no longer present. We must therefore choose our courses, plan wisely and study the weather in order to prepare ourselves with appropriate clothing in advance. It's been almost 6 years now that I’ve been running in the winter. I participated in the Winterman twice during the winter season and completed 3 half hypothermic marathons. Despite this experience, I am far from being an expert in clothing. On November 7th, I shared my experience on certain tips and tricks that allow to find pleasure when running in the winter. Many of you have asked me for a report. I have therefore prepared a summary of this conference.
During this conference, I presented 3 essential principles allowing to find pleasure when running in winter. These principles came from my personal experience as a runner as well as winter survival techniques in the forest.
1- Appropriate clothing in large quantities
- In the winter, it’s the sweat that kills us and we have to manage it. Think of an onion peel when dressing. If you’re feeling hot, you must then remove the first layer because it’s wet and you will become cold afterwards. I know, that's a good load when doing the laundry!
- Prior to running, first apply a small test by walking 3 to 5 minutes outside. If you're cold, it's a sign that you'll be comfortable when running. On the other hand, if you are hot or comfortable, you are too dressed to run.
- Don’t stay indoors too long of a time while dressed warmly before running outdoors.
- Wear clothing that allows humidity to escape. No cotton, however consider polyester or lycra instead.
- To maximize adhesion, use Kahtoola NANOspikes.
- Favor trail shoes for running in the winter.
- Invest in a good pair of woolen socks as well as a good pair of mitts in order to keep your extremities warm.
2- Running at beats per minute (bpm)
- Our body spends more energy in order to warm itself up during the winter, therefore we burn more calories during our workouts.
- Clothes are also heavier/thicker than in summer.
- There is less grip due to snow or ice.
- All these reasons make running in the winter more demanding.
3- Tips and Tricks
- Canteen of water under the vest to prevent the water from freezing.
- Short course, however in a loop while focusing on exits near home.
- For long Sunday runs, look for unobstructed and rarely used areas such as industrial parks or schools.
- Run in a group or with friends.
- Run at a suitable pace and with good clothes.
- Reward yourself after your workouts because nothing beats a good hot chocolate after a good cold run.
In short, the advantages of running in the winter are numerous:
- Allows you to leave your comfort zone and run intelligently.
- An excellent mental preparation.
- A good way to progress.
- PAYS OFF in the spring.
By Luc Levesque Kahtoola ambasador