Winter running brings happiness if you do it right.
First off, run outside. The only time to run on a treadmill is if. Actually, I can’t think of a good reason to ever run on a treadmill. Anyway. Wrap up and get out. Today was freezing. Literally below zero, not just a little bit chilly. As I ran I was tempted to poke the frozen puddles, like I was still five, and watch the ice give just a little – moving the water underneath around like a live jellyfish under plate glass. I crunched my way through the frost where the ground was untouched by the sun. But the blue skies above lifted the soul, and the crisp air felt brilliant and clean.
Oh it takes your breath away at first, and it takes longer for your muscles to feel warm and your breathing to steady to a regular pace, and breathing out you can see your breath, like when you were small and used to pretend you were a dragon, breathing smoke.
Being outside in winter, when everything is silent and frozen and still, is a magical place to be, and so it brings out the child in us. Even better to be running, feeling warm and fleet of foot, while everyone else is inside, where they can’t feel the icy wind burn their faces, or notice the birds, fluffed up and regarding you as you crunch past.
Remember to bring gloves, trail shoes, a warm hat and a sense of wonder.