The Top Winter Running Fails and How to Avoid Them
Get Active Today!Welcome to winter. It's cold, dark and for most runners, motivation is a bit low. But if you've got a spring race on the calendar (or just want to stay in shape), it's important to stay consistent. Winter presents unique challenges, but with the right strategies, you can turn any potential fails into successes.The Problem: Wintertime Darkness The solution: When your miles take place in the pre-dawn or evening darkness, the No. 1 thing to do is make sure you're visible. That means choosing well-lit paths and streets, running against traffic and wearing plenty of reflective gear.
Nathan Sport's reflective ponytail beanie will keep your head warm while also giving a heads up to motorists. Bonus points for the hole for your ponytail.
If you'll be running on uneven roads or just need some extra light, a headlamp is a good bet, but we also like these innovative Knuckle Lights.
If you feel unsafe running outside when it's dark, there's no shame in logging miles on the treadmill. Cue up your favorite playlist or TV show and the miles will fly by!
The Problem: Cold WeatherThe solution: Whether your definition of winter weather is 40 degrees or negative 20, heading out for a chilly run can be uncomfortable. But as the Scandinavian mantra goes, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear!" Plan on dressing as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. So, if you're headed out for a run in 30 degrees, dress as if you were going for a walk in 50-degree weather.
Plan on wearing base layers made of wool or sweat-wicking material, a windproof running jacket, hat/headband and mittens/gloves. When the roads are slushy, make sure your socks are made from a fabric that will keep your toes warm and blister-free. Swiftwick's pursuit line of socks, made from merino wool, is a great option.
The Problem: Icy, Snowy RoadsThe solution: Slippery roads derailing your run? If your usual route is icy, consider strapping a pair of Yak Tracksover your shoes. They may look a bit like medieval torture devices, but they'll add traction and help avoid falls.
Has heavy snowfall covered up your favorite running paths and trails? Consider a pair of running-specific snowshoes like the ones from Dion. Snowshoes made for running are light and sleek—perfect for when you want to go fast on packed trails.
The Problem: Low MotivationThe solution: Whether it's the post-holiday blues or a case of the sniffles, sticking to a routine in the winter can feel tough. One of the best ways to stick with your workouts is through accountability. Do you have a neighbor who will wake up and log sunrise miles with you? A co-worker who can be your new gym buddy?
You might also want to consider a running streak—whether it's for a month or the whole winter season, running just 1 mile a day (or more if you want) can be a great way to maintain a routine, even when you don't feel like it.
If boredom is your issue, try using an on-demand fitness app such as Aaptiv. The audio-based workouts can generally be used on a treadmill or outdoors, and can add some variety to blah runs.
It's a new year, and there's no reason you should feel bored with what's on your plate. We're bringing you brand-new healthy recipes that are sure to spice up your usual smoothie, energy bites or meal-prep routine. Try these options for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner, and never dread mealtime again.
No-Bake Breakfast Cookies
If you can't seem to get excited about your morning bowl of oats anymore, it's time to sweeten things up. These delightful cookies pack just the right amount of nutritious ingredients—oats, peanut butter and chia seeds—to balance out the sweetness from the honey and chocolate chips. Who said cookies for breakfast was a bad idea?
Apple and Carrot Superhero Muffins
For those busy mornings when you're running late, try these grab-and-go "superhero" muffins that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge. What makes them so super? They sneak both fruit and veggies into your morning meal. Plus, they're gluten-free!
Cherry Pie Cherry Smoothie
You already know cherries are good for runners, and we're willing to bet you've been recycling that same chocolate cherry smoothie recipe for months. It's time to switch it up with this new version that tastes just like old-fashioned cherry pie, thanks to the genius addition of graham crackers. Just make sure to skip the whipped cream if you're sensitive to dairy or looking to cut calories.
Loaded Veggie Quesadillas
No more burrito bowls for you! Add these veggie-packed quesadillas to your lunch rotation instead. With peppers, avocado, sweet potatoes and fresh salsa for dipping, you're packing in a ton of produce into just one meal. Black beans and two types of cheese provide the protein for staying full.
Protein Packed Healthy Mac and Cheese
A healthy mac and cheese...could it...could it really be? This recipe says yes. Not only does it call for broccoli and spinach for a healthy dose of veggies, it also includes chickpea pasta, meaning you're getting a lot of protein mixed in with your carbs to avoid that afternoon crash.
Runner's Roasted Sweet Potato Slices
Sweet potatoes are another food that's especially common in a runner's diet, which means they can get old fast. This new take on an old stand-by uses the unexpected combination of thyme and nutmeg for seasoning, and we think you'll appreciate the unique flavor. Wrap in aluminum foil and pack for a midday snack.
Vanilla Almond Latte Energy Bites
Energy bites are a snack that should never get boring thanks to its many endless variations. For the winter season, try out this vanilla almond latte version. The warming flavors are equivalent to curling up with a cup of hot coffee, and the ingredient list includes protein powder for extra punch.
Café Mocha Protein Shake
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Amp up your usual cup of coffee with this protein shake that calls for only four ingredients yet has the protein and caffeine combo to get you through the last part of the day—and your evening workout.
One-Pan Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli
You've got your chicken and salmon dinner options down, but have you stepped a toe into the world of tofu? Stay with us here. Not only is it a great source of plant-based protein, tofu can be mighty tasty when prepared the right way. This recipe will have you singing its praises and is complimented with whole grains and veggies for a truly balanced meal.
Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils and Marinara
We love carb-loading just as much as the next runner, but sometimes you need more "oomph" than the usual pasta and red sauce to stay full. This ever-so-simple spaghetti recipe adds in a half-cup of dry lentils that take your traditional pasta up a notch. Better yet, the whole dish comes together in 30 minutes.