Winter Workouts

Ok, so with temperatures in the 40s this week in the Chicago area, maybe it isn’t the best time to be talking about “Winter.” But we’re headed for single digits soon, don’t worry.

I wanted to focus this post on running actual workouts in the winter (not on the treadmill). Because, let’s face it, that can be quite the challenge. Nevermind the fact that it’s miserable outside, you never really warm up, and you have to wear so many layers.

No, the real problem is location.

(Can you tell I don’t like winter?)

For those of us who run track workouts, that presents it’s own set of problems. First of all, I’m learning that I was spoiled in Ames with a Middle School, High School, and University that all had public access to a track. Not so much here in the Chicago burbs.

But anyway. Snow and ice can really cause a problem in regards to a track workout. Because even if your track is a public use track, it probably won’t be cleared. Meaning you have to go off track, or slog through the snow and ice and hope you don’t fall.

Bike paths are normally the nest best option. Easy enough to get distances, especially with your GPS watch, and zero car traffic. Problem? These are also covered in ice and snow and remain so for quite some time. I was shocked that one of the paths I ran on Saturday still had packed snow on it.

Roads? If you can find a nice side road, and run in the middle of the day, that’s not a bad option. Neighborhood loops are great if you can find them. Roads can still be slick, but in the Midwest, most of them are taken care of. Your issue here becomes traffic. No one needs to be hit by a car.

All in all, it’s definitely a challenge. I’ve got myself a track workout tomorrow, but fortunately the high might be 50, so I’ve got that going for me.

How do you do your winter workouts? Find a spot and suck it up? Pray for good weather? Or just say screw it and go to the gym?

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