Winter Training

This winter is an excellent opportunity to get into winter running. If you are properly prepared and are mindful of the road conditions, running throughout the winter is a safe activity and is a great way to prepare for the spring track and field season.

I have included a sample 3-month schedule that could be used as a guide to training in the winter. This schedule was adapted from a summer training program designed to get into shape for the start of XC season. A few notes:

  • "Easy" pace means a pace that you could maintain and also carry on a conversation. You "Easy" pace at the start of the training is going to be slower than your pace 2 months later (hopefully!)

  • I have put all of the runs by time, so that the schedule would be flexible for everyone.

  • If you don't start on January 11th but still want to finish at the end of March Break, start your training with week 1 rather than starting in the middle of the program

Tips for Winter Running

  • Take it slow to start! These days, winter weather in southern Ontario is quite variable, which can make for some fairly challenging conditions.

  • Watch the turns. Wipe-outs from slips on ice most often occur when you are rounding a corner. Take it slow!

  • Be seen! If you are running at dawn, dusk, or in the evening, wear bright clothing, reflector bands, and/or a flashing light

  • Springbank Park is often plowed throughout the entire weekend. If you want to stay off roads to run, the paths from Greenway Park to the end of Springbank Park are cleared on a regular basis

  • Stay clear of trails near rivers. There are a lot of paths and trails in London that are on floodplains. Winters in London are more often experiencing thaw cycles, which can result in flooding and unpredictable conditions. Even in frozen conditions, it can be difficult to know where the shoreline ends and the river starts.

  • Always let someone know when you are planning to go for a run and where you are planning to run.

winter running clothing

In my opinion, until the temperature dips below -10 degrees you do not need to invest in a lot of specialized or expensive running gear to run in Southern Ontario winters.

My winter running outfit typically involves:

  • Running tights

  • Long-sleeve base layer (i.e. long underwear, or any moisture wicking material)

  • Long-sleeve outer layer

  • Gloves (I wear these for temperatures between -5 and 5 degrees.

  • Toque or headband

Shoes: I have never found any need for ice cleats or any specialized traction devices. Trail shoes may offer better traction, but in my opinion, there is not a noticeable difference between regular running shoes and trail shoes in snowy and icy conditions.