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Often avoided by joggers and runners, getting outdoors for a run during the cold winter months is plagued with images of a freezing and uncomfortable workout.
Feeling the biting cold whip against your face and cheeks isn't as bad as it may sound. Running throughout the winter months is something many runners from the north swear by. Just getting out the door is often the most daunting task; but the benefits can be plentiful if the right precautions are taken.

Living in North America, over half of the population experiences a fairly significant weather change during the winter months, and the further North, the more extreme winters become. Nonetheless, there are thousands of dedicated runners who get out there and pound the pavement (or snow and ice in some cases) in the most frigid temperatures. Not only cold to contend with, winter runners have to consider the ice and snow factor. Running on soft or hard packed snow, or even ice is going to make a huge difference to the intensity of a workout.

It’s a love/ hate relationship

Imagine joining your 6am running group when its pitch black, -20 centigrade with blowing snow swirling around you and your feet sinking deep into fresh snow. Even if this image sounds terrifying to non-runners, it’s a dream for regular winter runners. Winter runners embrace and love the challenge. Its something that must be done, and getting out the door is the toughest part. What a lot of summer runners don't know is that while winter running may be more difficult at times, it is just as healthy, and not as cold as one may think.

Finding the right clothes

Just as with any warm up, after the first 5 minutes, the body heats up and the biting cold is hardly felt. The key to enjoying winter running is to wear the right clothes, the right shoes, and to have the right attitude. Running coaches preach that having the right attitude is the first step towards enjoying winter running and succeeding at it. Believing that you'll have a good time and enjoy the fresh air isn't far from the truth.

After stepping out that door, you've committed to your run. The exhilarating sensation of pushing through extreme weather conditions is even considered a better run for many compared to a hot sweaty run under the hot summer sun. Wearing weighty layers compared to running shorts and a singlet can change the whole feeling of a 10mile run. This may be the first difference a new winter runner will notice.

Next is to ensure you've got safe shoes. There are several different types of winter running shoes. There are cleat styles and soft styles, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Finding a shoe store specializing in running shoes and apparel will be a good step towards getting you out that door.

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