(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) – Winter in the Midwest is a pretty miserable time, but everybody that lives here has to get on with their lives despite the cold, wind, and snow. People often get flabby and out of shape during the winter, it’s hard to find motivation to go to the gym, and it’s easy to find excuses not to get out the door and exercise.

If you’re like me, running is a big part of your life, a daily necessity. Also, if you’re like me, you hate the treadmill and will only resort to running on it in times of absolute crisis.

Here are some of my winter running tips to get you through the cold:

Clothing is Crucial:

Probably the most important part of winter running is the clothing you wear. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, high-tech running gear…just stuff that has some reflective material on it and that you can move easily in. This is a picture of what I wore to run in when it was 1 degree (windchill -10) and I was fine!

Base Layer was a shirt and half tights.

Middle Layer was a Nike half zip, long tights, socks, gloves, and a facemask.

Outer Layer was a hoody, cheap sweatpants, more socks, more gloves, and a hat.

No matter what you wear, it’s still going to suck when you step out the door…You just have to start running and you’ll warm up, I promise!

Know the Weather:

Winter Weather in the Midwest can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Keeping track of the forecast will help you plan out your routes so you can avoid the wind as much as possible (wind kills in the winter).

There WILL be days you can’t avoid Mother Nature’s arctic grasp. In my opinion, the best way to handle this challenge is start your run heading into the wind or snow so you can get the nasty part out of the way first, then the way back will be a piece of cake!

Don’t be a Dummy:

Winter can be a dangerous time of year to run, especially at night. Always let someone know where you will be running and how about long it will take. As my mother would say, “Have an action plan!” Also, bring a friend with you…It makes the run go by faster and it’s way safer to not be alone. 

Don’t let the harsh Midwest winter discourage you from running…You just have to get out there and do it!

If you want to know where to run, check out the other blogs I’ve written about running in Kansas City!

Stay warm out there!

Written by Sam Lutz

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