When the snow starts falling outside, you might be tempted to turn to the treadmill. However, the reality is that running in snow can actually be a great idea. We know the idea of going outside in the cold might seem rough, but if you work up willpower, it can be highly effective. Training outside during the winter comes with many great benefits.
1. Get a More Intense Workout
When you run in the snow, you end up pushing yourself harder. Your body struggles more to stay upright and keep moving on slippery, snowy surfaces. This might seem like a bad thing, but it actually works out well. The whole point of training is challenging yourself. The extra effort involved with running during winter means you end up increasing your aerobic capacity faster and building muscles more quickly. If you keep to your regular workout times, you may find that you progress faster in the winter. Other runners notice they can have a slightly shorter workout but still get plenty of positive growth.
2. Drop Weight Faster
If you are running for weight loss, you’re in luck. A winter run means more than just combating the wet conditions. It also means your body’s metabolism goes into overdrive. When you are outside, your body has to burn more calories to keep you warm. This means that winter exercise can help you lose weight a little faster than the same training during the summer.
3. Become More Adaptable
During a winter run, you have to do more than just put one foot in front of the other. You have to pay close attention to road conditions, adjust your stride to maintain your balance, and move side to side to avoid obstacles. This is very different from treadmill running, so it does a better job of improving your balance, coordination, and reflexes. If you are training for a cross country run, triathlon, or other similar activity, winter runs are highly beneficial. They help to improve your overall performance and make you a more competitive runner.
4. Improve Your Mental Strength
As most serious runners know, running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. Having the fortitude to keep going and continue to push yourself is the secret to longer and faster runs. Running outside in the winter is a true test of your mental strength. It gets you used to confront and overcoming rough conditions. Once you get used to pushing through snow and cold weather, you might find that your spring and summer runs feel surprisingly easy and straightforward.
As you can see, there are a lot of perks to running in the snow. Just keep in mind that you need the right gear. With some high traction shoes and comfortable, moisture-wicking clothes, you can get the most from your winter training.