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This fall, I completed my first season of cross country. I'm a junior in high school, and I'm a girl. My PR was 18:17. Anyway, this winter I have been running nearly every day (I take breaks when my body feels worn out, or if the weather/roads are way too dangerous). When the conditions are good and I'm feeling good, I run in the 40 mpw range. I may build up to 50, but that's the highest I will go.

So I guess my question is, for those of you who have trained during the winter, how much did you improve for your track season or following cross country season? I love running, and I tell myself every day that someday this is all going to pay off (it always does eventually) but I was just curious to see how winter running has benefited other people.



Hey--winter running is like running at any other time of year. If your training is well designed towards a certain goal, and you are consistent then it will reap rewards. I have run in the winter for a several years now--it seems to get a little easier each year. Of course, the weather conditions will play a big role in the perceived stress of winter running--dress for the day. I use a lightweight North Face balaclava, long underwear, cycling tights, gloves, and regular New Balance shoes (749s'--they are great!). And 3-4 layers of all breathable lightweight garments for upper body. Some of these things will no doubt vary with each individual.
I run in the winter in order to stay fit generally, and to be able to perform well on my bikes in the summer--I ride both on trails and road. I take my dog along--a Kuvasz--which is a lot of fun, and keeps things interesting. 8)
Running in winter will probably help to increase metal toughness which will be of benefit year round. Certainly if you do any races in the spring then winter running is a great preparation--throw in some speed work after having built a good LSD base. Anyways, I am a big fan of winter running. Just remember--be waaaay careful of traffic--I always carry a light if going later in the day. Good luck.