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5 Ways to NOT Slack Off on Winter Running

Don’t get lazy just because it’s cold outside. Here’s how to stay motivated to run through winter—so that your first spring race doesn’t feel like hell.

3. Ditch your regular running shoes — Your regular running shoes won’t provide you with the traction you need when slush and black ice cover the ground. “No matter how cautious you are, sometimes you don’t see that ice,” Lubinski says. “You don’t want to be out for the next season because of a broken wrist or elbow.” Instead of chancing it, preempt the dangers of slipping and sliding by grabbing a pair of running shoes with thick traction or tread that will hold up in the winter months. The shoe may be heavier, but as the winter isn’t a time to hardcore train, the weight won’t be an issue.

4. Be hyper-aware of your surroundings — “When you are running in winter, you always have to be thinking; be totally aware,” Lubinski says. Don’t get too lost in your iPod or your thoughts that you disregard your surroundings. If it is a really icy or slushy day, run sans music or shorten your stride to have more control over your step.  Run through some snow to build strength, and add variety to your runs to keep your mind fresh and always aware of the environment. As the days get shorter, make sure your gear is laced with reflective tape and consider buying a headlamp to not only let others know where you are, but also to help you see the road or trail as the sun sets.

5. Extend your warm-up — In the winter months, make sure to take a longer warm-up than you normally do during the warmer months. This will help your muscles ease into your run, and prevent tears or pulls. If your usual warm-up takes about ten minutes before leading you into your full stride, try hitting it easy for 15 or even 20 minutes. “Your body is cold and stiff,” Lubinski says, “and you need to take that extra time, even it if means walking for five minutes, to go from an easy jog to an easy run and then into a medium-paced run."

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