Training during the Winter months

parkwayrun
My name is Bennett Brookstein, Founder and President of the Fairmount Running Club in Philadelphia. I have been running for over 25 years and am still loving the sport.
One of my least favorite components of training is training during the winter months in Philadelphia. With Philly, you never know what is in store for you with the weather conditions, which is why, prior to starting the Fairmount Running Club, I would always take a break from running outside and just weight train indoors.
A running buddy of mine says about training in the winter, “The colder the better”. I definitely do not agree with him, my best runs are when temperatures are 55-70 degrees.
I truly dislike the slightest bit of wind, low temperatures, and most of all rain drops touching any part of my body.
Last January, I ran the Miami Marathon. Naturally, on the weekends is when you try to do your long miles. Just my luck, every Sunday for about 6 weeks before the race was some of the worst weather conditions I’ve every trained in. But guess what? I did not have a choice and had to do it, it was my choice to sign up for the marathon and I had a responsibility to train for it.
The rules when training states that if you are too warm when you start, then you have too much on. I’m the opposite, I like to feel warm all the time. For my training runs, I usually wear several layers of clothing. For my upper body I begin with a light tank or short sleeve shirt then a long sleeve “base layer”. Sometimes another long sleeve or short sleeve on top of that and then of course a jacket. The jacket I wear is then pending on how bad the weather is that day. Therefore, I have several jackets to choose from; light weight, heavy or windbreaker shell.
For lower body I wear a pair of wicking underwear and either tights (thick) or running pants. Shoes are again determined on the weather, usually I wear stability-control running sneakers. However, if there is snow, ice or sleet I wear trail shoes for better traction and water resistance.
Every weekend there was sleet, frigid temperatures and ice storms. I never knew what to wear, eat and I doubted how much to train because I simply did NOT want to be outside. But as a runner, that is what you can expect when training for a winter race regardless of where you’ll be racing.
Bennett Brookstein
Hater of winter training in the cold.

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