You’ve all seen my hashtag repeatedly now, #RunnersDontHibernate. But heck, there are times the wind is howling, the temperatures are in the single digits, and I allow myself to take an unscheduled rest day. You know what helps me avoid justifying skipping workouts? A solid training plan. If daily mileage is staring me in the face, I am much more inclined to follow through with a workout. So here are six reasons to run a spring race:

  1. Accountability: If I have a training plan that takes me through the winter months, I am much more likely to log more miles when the temperatures drop. When I set expectations for myself, I follow through. With a training plan that clearly tells me what I need to do each day, it’s much more likely that I’ll grind out the miles than to run whatever I may feel like that day.
  2. Fresh Air: The gym is great. I’m there often. But nothing beats a good workout in nature. You know it’s true.
  3. Certified Badassery: Running any amount of outdoor miles in the winter makes you a badass. The worse the weather, the more badass you feel when you’re done.
  4. Strength: Running against the wind, through piles of snow, and wearing so many layers you can hardly move makes you a stronger runner. It’s scientific fact. Just imagine how fast those miles will be on dry roads, with light layers, and a balmy 55 degrees. Winter running makes for exceptionally strong runners; just ask Des Linden.
  5. FOMO: As in, fear of missing out. You know when spring comes, you’re going to wish you trained for a race. Runners everywhere will be hitting the trails and pavement after months of preparation. The spirit of running is thick in the spring. Races pop up every weekend, give yourself something to look forward to and enjoy the process.
  6. Cure the Winter Blues: Living in Northern Michigan, I hear too many people complain about winter. Embracing winter is the key to surviving it. Get out there, exercise in it, play in it, and love it. Otherwise, you’re just sitting around waiting for time to go by.

It’s hard to believe how cold and snowy it is when it is technically still fall. Perhaps an early arrival of winter will bring an early spring. Either way, get outside and enjoy the snowy miles. And if you don’t see me out there, send me a gentle reminder that runners don’t hibernate.

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