5 tips to transition from winter to spring running

Posted on Mar 28, 2021, by

Being a runner in Wisconsin has its challenges as winter brings harsh and more difficult running weather. While some people enjoy running in all temperatures and terrain, many find themselves turning to the treadmill to get their run in when it’s frigid and icy outside. While winter may feel long and never ending, the good news is that Spring is here, and that means people can get back to their outdoor running routines. Here are some tips for transitioning from winter to spring running:

  1. Update your running shoes. Get yourself a new pair of shoes for the new season. Most pairs of shoes should last 300-500 miles, which is about 4-6 months if you average 20 miles a week; and with warmer temps, you will most likely increase the distance of your runs, logging more miles.
  2. Update your running gear. This time of year, you will need to dress in lighter layers.  Mornings are cool and afternoons are warm. With the changing of the seasons, you have the potential for snow, sleet, rain and wind. So, don’t pack away your winter hats and mittens just yet!
  3. Watch your footing. Weather changes mean the roads conditions can vary as well. Watch out for black ice, sidewalk & parking lot ice, slush and wet melting snow areas. All it takes is one slip and you could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. If you see a glare on the road, slow down your pace to be safe!
  4. Increase your mileage gradually. Avoid an overuse injury by increasing your mileage slowly and steadily. It’s also beneficial to add cross training workouts into your routine to avoid injury with activities such as yoga, cycling and strength training. The YMCA of the Fox Cities is a great option for cross training as they provide a comprehensive list of classes that promote cross-training, as well as a professional staff of personal trainers to help you get the most out of your runs. Most overuse injuries in runners are because of inadequate recovery between runs, muscular imbalances and improper footwear.
  5. Sign up for a race! Enjoy the warmer months of training with your running friends and set a common goal. Maybe you are ready for your first half or full marathon? Having a common goal keeps you accountable. Races are a great motivator to ease back into a regular running routine. And…running races with friends is FUN! Registration is open for this year’s weekend of events here.

It doesn’t matter if you continued your runs outside all winter long, or if you came in from the cold, these tips would help you make an easy transition to spring weather running. So, get out there take in the fresh air, and for a particularly beautiful change of scenery try trail running on the Bruce B. Purdy Nature Preserve at the Apple Creek YMCA, because running in nature just feels a little better!

Amanda Vander Logt is the Fitness Coordinators at the Apple Creek YMCA, and has been with the Y for eight years. Amanda has a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology from UW-Green Bay, she is an ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor with years of experience instructing fun, challenging and energetic Group Fitness classes for Y members. Amanda has completed over 20 half marathons and three full marathons. She loves being able to help motivate others to achieve their fitness goals! Contact Amanda at [email protected].

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