Winter Running!

Winter Running

Ahh….the joy of winter is coming. What now? The age old debate Treadmill or outdoor. Both work and it becomes a matter of preference.

First and foremost, you need to understand that no matter how you roll it up, running in Canada during the winter is not the same as running in Canada in July.  Trying to keep up the PB pace you managed last summer will not work. There are some brief occasions where you will be able to open up and see some glimpses of that person…but the reality is winter running is slower.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. This period is a perfect opportunity to build a really great base for the upcoming year. If you were thinking about making the jump from 5K – 10K, or jumping from a 10K to a Half marathon…this is the time.  There is plenty of time when the snow melts to start working on your speed again. Take the time to slow down and enjoy the run with friends or a quiet jog clearing your mind.

Clothing – Contrary to belief, you do not need layers and layers of clothing to run in the winter.  Normal light layering with about one layer for every 5 degree drop is more the adequate. You also want to wear your “wicking” clothes if possible.  I have ran in temperatures below -25 and was perfectly comfortable using this guidelines. Remember though, you do sweat and once you stop running you will cool off quickly. Make sure you stop your run close to a place you can get out of the elements quickly.

Shoes – This is up to you. I always wear normal shoes, no special studding or grips on the bottom. Some people prefer buying a pair of trail running shoes, some like the Yak Trax you pull on over your shoe.  It’s important to remember that whatever you choose…you will be running through all conditions. Snow, Slush, Salt, etc,. Your feet could get damp…and your shoes will take a beating. It’s somewhat normal to need to replace your shoes after winter.

Safety – Consider this your top concern. Daylight is short and no matter what, you will find yourself running in dim or dark conditions. Wear bright, reflective clothing and consider purchasing a head light that you can clip onto a hat or belt. Do not take chances; do not assume cars can see you…or that they can stop in time if they do see. Be careful when running on the road and even more careful when running on the sidewalk. Many times the sidewalks are in worst shape then the roads and are not maintained.

Liquids – If you’re running over an hour, you’re still going to need liquids and nutrition. Remember, these feeze! Consider loops close to your house where you can refill or exchange bottles if needed.

Vaseline – If its colder then -10, little dabs on your checks or lips prevent the cooler dry air from drying them out and helps prevent wind burn.

Emergency Plan – I spoke about the importance of this before, even more so in the winter. If you are by yourself…make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to be back.

Over and out


Not a Typical Post


I’m in a very strange space, and a very curious time in my life. I am 42, and I have been very fortunate to know (all of) my grandparents very well. But times does not stop and it catches everyone.


As I write this, both of my grandfathers are very unwell. One is having his body slowly shut down, his life is draining and we are powerless. All we can do is watch. It’s been in slow motion for 3 weeks now.

The other, with a mild onset of dementia, had a his bowl removed this week to save him from cancer. His recovery is not going well. 


These are two men, who I have looked up to all my life and have taught me a lot. They have stepped in when needed to protect me, and they have remained at my side and as a supporter even though my weekly visits drifted farther and farther apart. My life it seemed, got busy, first as a husband and later as a father.  They understood.


Inspire and inspiration have become buzz words in the last year or so. If someone does something really well, or for a good cause…they are called inspirational. Here is my trouble with this. Is doing something for a good cause inspirational or just the right thing to do? And if someone else also takes up the charge because of that, did you inspire them or simply show them a way to make a difference?


Here is my true definition of inspire.


My Grandpa Turnbull, walking up the steps of a school in his early teens, asking to be registered so he could learn. Upon being laughed at and turned away, finding some books that would self teach him and learning the basics of math, language and science.

My Grandpa Flint, who despite battling his own emotions and demons, holding my hand and hugging me tight at my parents divorce hearing and telling me it would be okay…even though it was tearing him apart to see my sister and I hurting.


This is true “inspiration” to me, because these are things I think of when the going gets tough. How to succeed despite being told you can’t and worrying more about those around you. Caring enough to be a break water in the harbour.  These things are inspirational to me because it forces me to make a change, or be a different person…not just a momentary action that dissolves in time.


Right now, things are tough and I am hurting, you might say even bleeding a bit. But I’ll get through this period of challenge and like my Grampa’s have done all their life, I will use it to make me stronger and a better person. 


If you are reading this post,  thank you for taking the time . This post means more to me then any PB, Race report or review I have written.  Aside from my parents, these two gentlemen are a huge part of the reason I am here today. I hope that someday I can fill their shoes, but they are big shoes to fill.


Cheers, Corey

Colours of Effort–The Run



Paint your wall with the colours of effort,

Of a single step at a time,

Of a dream and a plan,

Of the sweat and tears,

Of runs lost and won,

No chance for things to be perfect,

But than neither are we,

How beautifully compatible we are with running.


Cheers and Happy Running.