Dr. Ron: Ready for winter running

Just last weekend I was out on a training run in shorts and a T-shirt on an uncommonly warm fall day in New Hampshire, enjoying the fall colors, rustling leaves and warm sun. During this particular run, although trying hard to think about winter running topics for the first article in this series, I just couldn’t even begin the process. The Indian summer type afternoon was just far too enjoyable to let in intrusive thoughts of the upcoming New England winter! Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

However, Mother Nature had other ideas. Last night we had “the most extraordinary October snowstorm in over 200 years” according to the local weather report. I woke this morning to over 20” of snow in our area. As I watched the sunrise over the snow covered valley out the kitchen window I was struck by the overnight transformation – from the brown landscape of faded fall colors which were well past their prime to a shimmering white winter wonderland.

After setting the kids to task clearing the driveway, I went in the attic storage and found the bin marked “Winter Running Clothes”. After pulling on some of the lighter favorites and my Icespike equipped shoes, I stepped out the door for a run down the rural NH road that we live on. It only took a few moments to realize why I love winter — the “clean” brilliant white landscape, seeing my breath on the cool breeze, the quiet that only comes after snowfall broken only by the rhythmic crunch of footfalls on the snow packed road. These are truly the magic moments that need to be savored!
This early winter run also kick started the thought process regarding advice for winter running safety as I encountered many of the common hazards. I will plan to share these thoughts with you next month in the next installment of this series. In the interim, please send your questions to dr.ron@icespike.com After next month, I will select one question each month to answer regarding running, fitness, sports injuries or whatever is your mind. The sender of the selected question each month will be sent a complimentary set of Icespikes.

winter road

Dr. Ronald E. Michalak, MD MS FAAOS is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon in New Hampshire and team physician for Franklin Pierce University Ravens. He has been focusing his own athletic endeavors on triathlons for the last several years and is currently training for his first full distance (140.6) Ironman race (Florida 2012). His background also includes a biomedical engineering degree, research in biomechanics, as well as a coaching background in skiing, swimming and tennis.

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