A blog by runners. For runners.

But … it’s cold outside (and other winter running excuses)


Excuses, excuses, excuses.

I have about a million of them on any given day. And one of the most interesting things is that they seem to change seasonally. The gorgeous foliage has peaked and all those leaves are almost entirely blown off the trees in my part of the world. The weatherman is even forecasting snow showers for this weekend. We’re in for it now.

So, I thought it might be fun to look at a few winter-related excuses that sometimes keep me from moving (and how I bust through them, of course!).

It’s too cold to run.
Temperature is certainly a preference thing — and I know plenty of people who favor cold weather running. But if you’re not into the chill, it’s just a matter of dressing smart. The worst part is that first 5 to 10 minutes. Once your body gets moving and the blood pumping, you’ll be toasty in no time.

It’s too dark to see.
With the time change only a couple weeks away, this “excuse” can actually be a legitimate concern. I’ve written in the past about running in the dark and some tips for staying safe. You can also find a number of places to walk indoors or even head to the dread — er, I mean, treadmill for some bright miles. If you have trouble adjusting, here are some tips for transitioning to indoor running.

It’s too slick for traction.
Ice and snow can accumulate in no time at all. The trick to avoiding spills is two-fold. First, keep your eye on the weather forecast. Sometimes it’s as easy as avoiding the precipitation by shifting your run time to before or well after a storm starts/finishes. Second, be alert. Don’t let your mind wander along with your footing. While I don’t recommend jogging on ice-covered sidewalks, I’ve done it slowly and carefully many times. You can also consider investing in a pair of lightweight snowshoes or cleats if you want to make it a regular practice. (More on that another day!)

I have a nasty cold.
Cold weather often brings on viral illness. It spreads like wildfire, and before you know it — you’re hacking and blowing your nose along with the rest of your office or family. There are definitely times when sickness warrants time off, for example — if you have a chest cough or fever. If it’s just the sniffles, consider bundling up (or heading to the gym), slowing your pace, and/or shortening your distance. It may even make you feel better! Don’t worry if you’re out of commission for a while, though, it’s easy to get back on track again, quite literally.

I’m too busy with the holidays.
Beginning with Halloween, it seems like the social calendar really beefs up till the New Year. With all those parties, shopping runs, and other obligations, it can feel like exercise just isn’t going to happen. This, my friends, is your lazy, internal cookie monster talking. Well, for me it’s the Christmas cookies. All you need to overcome this excuse is a little planning. You can have your cake and eat it too. In this case, you can do all the fun stuff and either change the time of day when you run or shorten a workout or talk walk breaks throughout your day. Sure, it’s OK to skip from time to time, just don’t let it snowball, so to speak.

How do you overcome winter running excuses?

Written by  Ashley Marcin.