Soggy Jogging: Winter Runner’s Land

While global warming and my ego are keeping temperatures comfortably mild this December, winter is here.

With this nine-month season comes challenges and rewards, especially for those unstable enough to run outside. Sure, North Dakota State students pay for the indoor amenities of the Wallman Wellness Center, which includes tens of treadmills and a running track. But why use logic when looking for a workout?

Jogging outside is cold, uncomfortable and, at times, dangerous — dangerous in that sprinting on ice may cause bodily harm to yourself and a passersby.

While I’m full of a lot of things, mostly myself and hot gas (99 percent), tips on running outside aren’t my forte.

Enter active.com, my go-to website for anything related to running. A word for the wise: active.com attacks email accounts relentlessly, somehow sneaking through all spam filters. Stay away, especially if you get irrationally upset at NDSU Listservs; active.com will push you over the edge.

Let me ease your burden. Check out these three winter running tips, spam-free, right here:

  1. Dress for success: Simply put, if you don’t dress for the weather, your run will be hampered. Going numb in your face isn’t as fun as The Weeknd claims. Going numb in your ears, fingers and toes isn’t too fun, either. Conversely, overdressing will lead to a truly soggy jog. I’d error on this side of caution, though; you can shed layers. I’m told that a sweatshirt tied around the waist is an allegedly “in” look these days, too.
  1. Map out friendly sidewalks: Blessed are those who shovel their sidewalks, for theirs is the kingdom of God. No hyperbole. Wet feet ruin runs. Icy spots ruin ankles. Unkempt sidewalks are perpetual antagonists. Runners become human snowplows when hitting the powered pavement. Joggers, scope out safe sidewalks — schools and churches are usually good bets — to focus your runs.
  2. Work with the wind: You don’t want to end your run fighting a 35 mph northwest wind blowing in your face. Leave that hell for the start of your run. Then, by the end of your jaunt, the wind will be at your back, and you’ll be logging negative splits.

I’m still unsure why and how people can live in our beautiful tundra, but these are the cards we’ve been dealt. Running outside during the winter can be tortuous, but the hot, un-numbing shower afterward makes it all worthwhile.

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