This article was written by Alia Gray, who boasts a top ten marathon finish at the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials. Alia trains in Boulder, Colorado with The Roots Running Project.
Oh, the weather outside is...weather. Everyone loves that old tune, right?
Ski bums may love seeing snow on the forecast, but runners tend to groan. While some take pride in braving the elements no matter what the conditions may be, workouts and faster running become much more difficult to execute safely and efficiently on slick ground. Thus, heavy snowfall often means heading indoors to the treadmill.
To some runners, the treadmill is a friend. It allows you to keep running at a pace that the outside conditions would not allow. Plus, for those hard workouts, your only job is to keep up with the rotating belt; if you want to slow down, it’s done in a much more intentional way, by a method, of actually slowing the home board down. It’s an admit of defeat. Throw in some good old self-competition, and because of this, some end up having their better workouts on the ‘mill.
To others, the treadmill is a bitter foe. Minutes become hours, humidity and heat compounds, and the stagnant indoor air suffocates. This may be getting a little dramatic, but the treadmill can easily start to feel like a hamster wheel especially when snowstorms start to stack on top of each other.
So, here's a couple tips on not only surviving the winter months but winning them too:
1. Invest in a decent pair of earbuds. Yurbuds work well, but many people like going wireless, too. Just find something that stays put so you don’t have to fidget every couple seconds with wires.
2. Refine your music playlists/podcast lists. Been meaning to score some extra intellectual points from podcasting? Now is the time! When you’re logging serious miles, podcasts help distract you from the minutes on the treadmill ticking by.
3. Cover the time/mileage count and don’t look at it for as long as you can.
4. Don’t be stubborn. I know, cabin fever is real folks. A snowstorm that knocks you inside day after day can play your mind in weird ways, especially for all you who are used to your daily dose of natural Vitamin D outside. That said, all it takes is one turned ankle on a patch of ice to completely knock you out of running for a bit. Remember: as much as you may loathe running on the treadmill, you probably loathe not running at all even more. Make the mature decision.
5. Find ways to get outside other than training. May the sun came out, but it isn’t quite enough to melt the roads and trails yet -- find a cafe patio somewhere and take in a little extra sunshine.
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