Are you gearing up for a spring marathon? Perhaps the Colorado Marathon in May? But struggling to stick to your training routine during the often unpredictable winter weather in Colorado and beyond? Fear not, fellow runners, as we have you covered with helpful tips on training for a spring marathon during winter! Shorter days, frigid temperatures, snow, and ice bring their fair share of challenges, but there are many ways to plan your training regimen and stay on track with your goals year-round. Keep reading to learn more, and register for the upcoming springtime race in Fort Collins to secure your spot!

Man running the Colorado Marathon, a spring marathon in Fort Collins, CO

Use the Right Cold Weather Running Gear

Winter running gear is a crucial component of successful cold-weather training. Investing in proper protective clothing can help you stay warm, dry, and comfortable. When temperatures are low, layers are key. A moisture-wicking base layer is a must to keep sweat off your skin and prevent chills. On top of that, add insulating layers, like a fleece or wool layer. Running tights or pants are also useful for keeping your muscles warm during long runs. Finally, make sure to top it all off with a wind- and water-resistant jacket to keep out the elements. Don’t forget to protect your hands, ears, and head as well! Stop by our race sponsor Runner’s Roost in Fort Collins to browse all the winter running gear you need to get started.

Create an Indoor Exercise Routine

When conditions outside are rough, modifying your training to include indoor workouts is a great way to maintain your fitness while staying safe and warm. Activities like treadmill running, strength training, swimming, and yoga have significant benefits for runners. They help build and maintain your strength, balance, stability, and endurance, which are all necessary for successful and rewarding competition in a marathon.

Compensate With Cross-Training

Missing out on a planned run does not mean you need to give up on your marathon dream. Supplementing your runs with other cardiovascular exercises such as stationary biking, rowing, or elliptical workouts can help offset lost mileage while maintaining and improving your stamina and endurance. Try to integrate cross-training activities throughout your entire training plan so that you don’t have to start all over again each winter.

Find an Alternate Running Route

When the weather conditions aren’t safe, it’s tough and risky to run on unplowed paths. Some areas might be too snow-packed or icy to run on, so scout different places where the plows tend to frequent. This way you’ll always have an alternative if your usual path or street isn’t plowed or the sidewalks haven’t been shoveled. Even if it means running shorter loops on alternate paths, you can still get in a good post-storm workout to stay on track.

Embrace Outdoor Winter Activities

Winter is a great time to spice things up and try out some new outdoor activities. Even if it’s too icy and dangerous to run, there are still plenty of ways to stay active and keep your routine up. Try snowshoeing on your usual running path or cross-country skiing in your neighborhood park or golf course. Shoveling snow is also a great workout for your arms, core, glutes, and legs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with your inner snowplow. Escaping the gym and taking a break in nature can do wonders in invigorating your soul and your workouts!

With these tips and strategies, you can power through any weather challenges that come your way and stay on track to run your spring marathon. There’s no set formula to train for a marathon in unpredictable weather, but with dedication, the right gear, and a pinch of creativity, you’ll cross the finish line with flying colors. The key is to make winter training the ideal foundation for crushing your marathon goals! So train smart, stay safe, and don’t forget to have a little bit of fun along the way. We’ll see you at the Colorado Marathon starting line in May!