Tips to Consider When Training for a Marathon in Cold Weather

The Little Rock Marathon is March 1, 2015. Many of the race’s participants are already training in preparation for the big day. While marathon training is no easy feat, running during the winter presents its own set of unique challenges.

Men’s Fitness shared helpful tips for running during the wintertime:

1.    Go easy.

Don’t have a set workout routine that focuses on pace or intensity – instead, focus on easy-to-follow, general goals that keep you accountable. One month, aim to run four times per week for 30 minutes each. The next month, run four times a week for an hour each. Listen to your body. It can’t go fast 12 months a year, so simply focus on building a strong foundation for spring.

2.    Dress warm, but not too warm.

Despite the initially frigid temperature, be careful not to overdress. Doing so could cause you to overheat and get dizzy or dehydrated quickly. Instead, dress for 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature.

3.    Avoid regular running shoes.

The running shoes you likely wear in warmer weather won’t provide you with the traction needed when slush and black ice cover the ground. Make sure your winter running shoes feature thick traction or tread that will hold up in these winter months. Although they may be heavier, the longevity of your training is more important than setting a personal record during your preparation

4.    Be hyper-aware of your surroundings.

Don’t let your music cause you to disregard your environment. If your route is really icy or slushy, shorten your stride to gain more control over each step and run without your tunes to be more in tune with your surroundings. If snow is on the ground, run through it to build strength. Additionally, lace your apparel with reflective tape so others are aware of you as well.

5.    Extend your warm-up.

Take the time to warm up a little longer than you normally do during the warmer months. This allows your muscles to ease into your run, and helps prevent tears or pulls.