Pro distance runner Molly Huddle doesn’t slow down in the winter. The New England native, who now lives and trains in Arizona through the winter, employs some key tricks to keep her body strong and healthy, and her mind motivated, through the winter months.
Here are Huddle’s top tips to keep showing up all winter long:
Your muscles are colder in the winter, and therefore your risk of pulling a muscle is higher. So, Huddle says, “I always like to do maybe 10 or 15 minutes of strength and mobility pre- and post-run.” Huddle also recommends foam rolling tight areas before every run.
We’re on the other side of the solstice now, so days are getting longer, but we’re a long way from extended summer hours, and that makes squeezing in your workout really tough. Huddle says meeting a friend is a surefire way to get you out the door.
“I run twice a day, so one of my runs is usually in the dark. But it’s not an excuse to not get the run done,” she says. “One of my favorite tips is to run with a friend or a group. That way you feel more accountable when you meet someone and the run always seems to fly by.”
If it works with your schedule, a midday run is another great choice for combatting wintertime darkness (and wintertime blues). We often spend a lot of our daylight hours indoors in the winter. Not only can this make it hard to workout, it can also leave us feeling down. If you can, aim to get out at midday a few times per week to soak in sunlight and chat with friends. Plus, says Huddle, “Usually it’s the warmest time of day, and it’s a good excuse to sleep in a litte.”
“Find a favorite shoe that’s comfy and reliable,” says Huddle. “If you live in a place with snow and ice, that may mean trail running shoes even if you’re sticking to the roads. I like the Saucony Triumph 17. It’s a neutral, cushioned trainer, which is my favorite type of training shoe.”
If you need a pair of trail shoes, the Saucony Peregrine 10 will give you confident traction on dirt or snow.
If you’re training for a spring marathon, you may want to start dialing in your nutrition during the winter months. “It might not feel natural to drink something when it’s cold outside and you’re not sweating much,” says Huddle, “but you need to get used to stomaching your favorite gel or whatever drink mix you’re going to be using on race day.”
By Ashley Arnold. Ashley has been running competitively since 2000. She went from winning the high school 300m hurdle state championship as a sophomore in 2002 to breaking the tape at the Leadville Trail 100 in 2013. Now, her full time role is managing content as the Senior Content Marketing Manger at Fleet Feet.