Maybe I’m Not a Winter Runner

Try as I might, this winter running is just not working for me.

I know it’s actually been a mild winter for northern Ohio, but gosh darn it it’s still cold. I don’t like being cold. I set out Saturday afternoon to run 5 or 6 miles as part of my training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Half-Marathon in May. I was positive. I was going to do this. It was about 39-degrees out. I thought I would be warm enough.

I thought wrong. I can’t handle it. I can’t cut the mustard. Whatever it might be called. I made it about 2.3 miles and was already frozen. And underneath the frozenness I was sweating. I was just miserable. Running is supposed to be fun. This was not fun.

Walk 4 miles in the same temperature? I can kind of handle that. But when I try running my leg muscles just bind up. After I came home I thought back on the last two winters I have been running. In 2010 I was running indoors the entire time on the treadmill (or my preference) the indoor track. I set foot outside for the season around March or April.

During winter 2011 I was overcoming an injury and didn’t really start running again until March. At that time I was running again on the treadmill or the indoor track. That same winter I ran outside two times I can remember when it was probably below 40-degrees. I managed, but didn’t really walk away wanting to come back for more.

So as I hear about other runners training and knocking out 10 to 14 miles outside in the winter like no problem, I feel a bit frustrated. Not frustrated with them, but myself. I find myself wondering why I can’t seem to do the same. We are all different runners. We each face our own challenges and triumphs. Try as I might, maybe running outside in the winter is just not my forte.

Until the next run.

*Read my 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Blogger disclosure here.


  1. says

    Love your point about everyone being a different runner. I like the cold {albeit Florida’s version of the cold} and find that it invigorates me to run, while the humidity and summer warmth make me sluggish and angry. I think we all have to evaluate our own challenges and learn to work with them, just like you said! It’s good that you figured that out and can now plan your training accordingly.

  2. says

    my father in law (when he was a big runner) loved running in the winter. My wife tells stories of him coming home with frost/ice in his beard. lol. Me just starting out probably rather the cold. Though I grew up in Florida I really dislike hot. lol

  3. says

    I find it so hard to get my layers right in the winter and that seems to be the secret to a good run. I’ll be honest, I can knock out 2-3 miles alone in the winter, but more than that and I require company to not focus on being cold and having wet feet (stupid snow). Anyways, there’s no shame in taking it inside if that’s what makes you happy, right?

  4. says

    I tried winter running last year and fail miserably. Thats how I ended up running Akron’s full in the fall rather than Cleveland’s in the spring. So this year, I decided to give it another go, and it hasn’t been half bad. It took me several saturday long runs before I got the layers right. Definitely takes practice. Give it another go!

  5. says

    No gonna lie, I am not a winter runner aka soft runner. I would rather crank out my long runs on the treadmill rather than brave 30 degree weather. For some reason this year I have been running outside a lot. My goal was to get 1 run a week outsdie but now I am finding myself running 3 days outside. I have to admit I am gettting used to the colder temps and I also take hand warmers with me on almost every run outside to help keep warm

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