The Joy of Running in the Cold

At this time of year there is a lot of discussion on how to get your planned run in when the weather is so cold. There’s talk of how everyone hates the treadmill (or the dreadmill). Friends on Facebook ask where they can find an indoor track. Others post that they would rather run on the very small track at the local gym where it might take up to twelve laps to make a mile. I’m not going to claim that I have never fallen into one of these categories, but as long as it’s not terribly icy, I love to run outside regardless of the temperature. It just takes a little planning and a little trial and error.

Through the years I have collected enough suitable clothing for outdoor running—I just had to figure out how to layer them. But once outside, it can be magical. I’m fortunate to live close to beautiful trail options in Lansing, and sightings of deer are almost guaranteed. There are wooden bridges, birds, the beautiful Mt. Hope Cemetery and the river. The solitude allows me to focus on my many blessings.

I’m currently one of the coaches for a Couch to 5K team. When we first started a few weeks ago, some of the participants were surprised that we actually intended to go outside to run or walk when it was only 20 degrees! Now after several training sessions, we are truly becoming a team, primarily because we share a wonderful secret.

Running in the cold is empowering! We feel strong, proud, and capable. Alive!

Written by Cynthia Erickson, 2016 Michigan Fitness Ambassador

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