By Lora Erickson, BlondeRunner.com
Winter can pose many additional challenges for runners. Poor air quality and cold temperature can drive asthmatic runners indoors or to travel to higher elevations to get out of the inversion. Obviously breathing bad air can pose health risks so it’s important to check and see if levels are safe to exercise in. To check air quality in your area visit airnow.gov. Some people opt to run outdoor with masks however often complain of having a hard time getting enough air exchange and the condensation in the mask can be annoying. I suggest taking the workout indoors if the air quality is bad. Treadmills can have many benefits this time of year. Not only do they provide a more giving surface and they obviously don’t have the concerns of slipping. It’s convenient and allows bathroom breaks if needed. It is also easy to set a pace and just hold that pace on the treadmill. While it can feel like a “hamster wheel” to some it offers safety from traffic and can be done any time of day or night. I know many young mothers with small children that utilize a treadmill extensively; however, I often caution them when they start running outdoors more in the spring to do it gradually to allow the body time to adapt to harder surfaces.
If you really struggle with indoor or “dreadmill” running, I suggest cross-training on bad air quality days. Indoor cycling and swimming can have many benefits for runners and challenge the body in different ways. I always like to suggest yoga for my runners and triathletes as well. This is great for recovery and flexibility. Don’t be afraid to utilize the snow for other fitness activities; like cross-country skiing or snow shoeing. These are all great aerobic workouts to supplement the training. It can also prevent burnout or keep you active if you tend to not to want to run in the snow.
While exercising outside on better air quality days I suggest dressing in layers. As your body warms-up you can remove layers to control temperature. I often see runners wearing too many layers so usually in 20 degree temps I wear two layers on the top, earwarmers, gloves or mittens (sometimes with hand warmers) and tights. If it’s snowing I also suggest a hat or visor so you don’t “blink” yourself to death. Surprisingly, I often wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun’s bright reflection off the snow. Glasses can also block the wind from making the eyes water and tears from dripping down the lacrimal ducts causing your nose to run. This can be annoying and lead you to wiping your nose excessively.
Often while running outdoors the feet can get wet and cold and there are concerns of slipping. For this I would suggest running in trail shoes that have more traction and are generally more water proof. I also like to use a water-proof spray on my shoes and clothes. If you can stay dry you won’t lose as much heat. Short gators can also prevent snow from getting in your shoes and melting. If you are concerned about black ice and slippery surfaces you might consider using yaktrax, IceTrekkers, or Kahtoola MicroSpikes. They can all be found at Wasatch Running Center or a local running store in your area.
If you are like me and it takes you a while to warm-up in cold temperatures but you don’t like to be stuck indoors, I would suggest warming up on a treadmill or indoor exercise bike then take the run outside. Remember running on slick snowy surfaces isn’t going to be as fast as you can go on a treadmill but it’s still a great workout. If you usually train by pace I would suggest using heart rate numbers to train with during the winter. Contact me if you need more training tips.
Another outdoor concern is traffic safety. I often find myself winding back and forth from the sidewalk to the street to avoid really deep snow or icy patches. As always be aware of your surroundings and assume cars don’t see you. I also suggest running against traffic, wearing bright colors with reflexive strips, blinking lights or utilize the Tracer 360 visibility vest (noxgear.com 20% off with code BLONDERUN) which can be seen from all directions. I don’t use music as much in the winter so I can hear my surroundings better and stay safe. It is also helpful to train with others as a group since you are much more visible to traffic.
Either way, whether you plan to workout indoors or outdoors don’t let anything get in your way. Yes, winter can make it more challenging to get the workouts in but if you want the rewards you have to do the work. No excuses.
Coach Lora Erickson
About the Author:
Coach Lora Erickson is a nationally ranked and All-World Triathlete as well as certified running, triathlon, swimming, and cycling instructor. She has a true passion for nutrition education, fitness & health promotion and has been coaching for over 25 years. She works with all level of athletes and relishing the opportunity to help beginners harness their true potential. She offers community classes, in-person and on-line custom coaching. To learn more contact her directly at email@example.com or visit BlondeRunner.com to read health articles.
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Do you want some feedback on your running form to help you become a better and more efficient runner with less injuries? If so, this class is for you. A Running Form Class will be held on Tuesday March 14, 2017, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Davis County/Bountiful area. This is a one-time lecture style class designed to review common running form mistakes and give you direct feedback on your form. We will go over injury prevention and review drills and exercises to make you a faster, stronger and more efficient runner. Please dress to run – we will only be running a little bit to learn the drills and give you form feedback so it’s not rigorous. Beginners welcome. Message firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn how to reserve a spot. $25.
Coach Lora Erickson
About the Coach:
Coach Lora Erickson has been running for over 30+ years. She is a USATF certified running coach and USA Triathlon coach and nationally ranked Ironman All-World Triathlete. She has been coaching for over 25+ years and has a true passion for health promotion. She ran on athletic scholarship in college for distance running. Learn more
Full custom coaching available. Contact Coach Lora Erickson directly to learn more
In honor of National Runners Safety month (November) I will be giving away one of my favorite running vests. I am a big advocate for runner safety especially at this time of year when there are limited daylight hours and I often see people outside exercising in the dark. It’s so important to be seen! This Tracer 360 vest is the best! It makes you visible from all angles (thus “360”). It also doesn’t rely on reflection only so cars can see you from a distance. I use this while cycling and running in low light conditions. I like to use the flashing light feature as we are competing with drivers attention now with cell phone/text use. This is so worth your safety and peace-of-mind. Please share this information with a friend you care about!
~ Coach “Blonde Runner” – Lora Erickson
Visit Blonde Runner Health on Facebook and learn how you can win one
If you don’t win you can still use the code BLONDERUN to save 15% (they are so popular they are on backorder right now). Order One
Triathlon Training Class
Tues. Dec. 10, 2013
5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
Are you new to triathlons or do you want to get faster?
The class will cover all the essential components of effective triathlon training including:
Transition (how to’s) – prep check list
Pre-registration is required to reserve a spot, email Coach Lora Erickson at email@example.com to make arrangements to pay the $25 class fee in person to hold a spot.
About the Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner: Coach Lora is a USATF certified running & triathlon coach with over 27 years of athletic experience. She is a nationally ranked triathlete and founder of Team Blonde Runner (TBR), a fully coached adult triathlon coed training team. Coach Lora is also the race director for the RaceForGrief.com event. To learn more visit www.BlondeRunner.com Coach Lora has a true passion for health promotion and her enthusiasm is contagious. Come and get excited about the great sport of triathlon with us.
What are people saying about Blonde Runner classes?
“Swimming has always been the weakest part of my triathlons, so I jumped at the chance to join Coach Lora’s swim clinic. She gave me some specific pointers right away, and I immediately felt a difference. She took video footage of me from multiple angles, and when we got together the next week to review, I was able to really understand what she was talking about. There are so many technical aspects involved in swimming, but Coach has been incredibly patient with me (helping me be patient with myself!), and helped me to focus on one at a time until I can start combining them. I especially appreciate how well she explains ideas and techniques–trying many different directions until I finally figured out which one clicked for me. That “Aha!” moment was worth every penny spent and every minute in the water.” ~ Melanie M.
“I want to thank you for your help. I learned much from your nutrition and running form class over the last month. Without the proper training I came within six minutes of my goal time and was back running within a couple of days. Thank you for the tips and willing to share your knowledge with those of us just starting this running adventure.” ~ Doug S., class participant
“I never thought I needed a coach before, but it makes all the difference. If you are looking to learn, to improve or just for some accountability with regard to your fitness, Coach Lora is for you. Since working with her, I’m back down to the weight I was 16 years ago, and I have less injuries and better performance.” ~ Scott T., MD, TBR team member
“Thank you so much for the running form class. I took away alot of new ideas and I definitely think it is helping to improve the way that I run.” ~ Kristy M., class participant
“Coach Lora, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts and your emails. You are a fantastic motivator!” ~ Becca C., Facebook fan and class participant
Visit the Blonde Runner Health Facebook page
“Just want you to know that I am super excited about my running these past couple of weeks. I think the running form analysis has really helped me. I can’t wait to learn more. Thank you for your help!” ~ Marie E. – Individual Running Form Analysis participant
These are simple but make an easy and healthy snack. I like them warm and I just pop them out of the shell. They are packed with protein too. Yum! 90 calories per serviing, 3 g fat, 8 g CHO, 4 g Dietary Fiber, 9 g protein. 377 mg potassium, plus some Vit A, C, Ca and F (Iron). Excellent!
~ Coach Lora Erickson
Running Tip: I often play an assortment of music on my ipod while I run. I strive to maintain the same pace no matter the song. Yes the same pace for Sara Bareilles Brave (love that song!) or Cristofori’s Dream. This is a great way to develop concentration and has proven valuable at the start of long races where it is important to set the right pace without picking up all the other varying paces around me.
Coach Lora Erickson
~ Coach Lora Erickson
The USDA has introduced a New Food Icon: “My Plate.” It illustrates a simple way to visualize what American families need to be eating to stay healthy. Visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about how to incorporate vegetables, fruits, protein, grain and dairy. Check it out. http://youtu.be/SEFmSk08LIE