One thing I didn’t expect to learn this winter was that winter running could actually be enjoyable. As I’ve only been running for about six months, I’m basically a newbie to all things running. I don’t know all the high tech gear or if I should wear toes shoes. I just run.

Photo by Isaac Wendland

During this learning period, I’ve realized that running in the winter is not as bad as I imagined. Yes, I struggle to push myself out the door and into the frigid air in the morning, especially living in Chicago, and yes, running on icy streets and sidewalks can be dangerous, but I have three reasons winter running is actually a blessing in disguise.

  1. While dodging icy patches and leaping over snow piles, I get a full body workout. Jumping uses muscles not used as much in simply running. I even enjoy avoiding the obstacles that come my way.
  2. Wearing a jacket means one thing: pockets. Armbands annoy me, and while I haven’t tried the flip belt everyone is talking about, I love that I can put my phone and keys in my purple Thermoball’s pocket and stay focused on my breathing (or lack of breathing).
  3. The crisp air of below freezing temperatures keeps me feeling alert. When I run in warmer temperatures, my movements are sluggish. The cold air also keeps me from feeling like I’m running through a bucket of sweat.

Those three reasons alone should be enough to convince you winter running can be fun. For your next workout, take a chance to run outside, even if the temperatures are subzero. Don’t worry. You’ll warm up.