The weather is warming up, and many people are itching to get outdoors. A great way to get outdoors and get active is by running.
Running is free, only requires shoes, and can be done solo or with a group.
Spring running, however, can be somewhat dangerous as there is still ice and slush on the roads and sidewalks around Edmonton. Follow the below tips to stay safe during spring runs.
Spring running tips
Personal trainer Taylor Temple says, “make sure you have proper, supportive footwear!” According to Temple, chances are, the runners that were used last year are now worn and cannot provide the proper support.
“Proper footwear is important and can make or break injuries getting back into the running season,” says Temple.
Running outdoors isn’t the same as running on a treadmill. On a treadmill, runners are free to zone out as there are no obstacles in their way.
Outdoors, runners need to be mindful of ice, slush, puddles, and other obstacles in their path.
Other than obstacles, runners need to be mindful of the difficulty of running outdoors as it is tougher than running on a treadmill. Runners use different muscles when running on pavement, so the shins and calves may get more sore than they did during treadmill runs.
“Ease your way back into a running program. If you took time off running during the winter season, start with smaller distances and progressively increase your distance as your body becomes more conditioned,” says Temple.
But the biggest challenge runners face during this time of year is the unpredictable weather and sidewalks; hence zoning out is not an option.
Temple says, “if you are nervous about running on trails covered in ice and snow, I would recommend a slower pace and smaller strides to minimize the risk of slipping.”
To reduce the risk of injury, runners should avoid running at night when it gets darker and ice is harder to see. This is especially important as sidewalks are wet from snowmelt during the day, then freeze and get slippery in the evening.
Runners should be extra cautious around corners and take them at a slower pace. Even if snowy areas look like they’re packed down well, they could still be slippery.
Temple recommends traction devices such as running crampons to increase traction during slippery conditions.
Because the weather in Edmonton changes so drastically day by day, it’s also important to have a good lineup of running clothing. A mix of warmer pieces, such as a wool cap, and lighter items for the warmer days is essential for those who want to run consistently.
Where to run in Edmonton
Many people are familiar with the Glenora stairs and the surrounding running trails for solo runs, but those looking to run with a group may not know where to go.
Here’s a list of some of the running clubs in Edmonton:
Mind & Body by Temple recently started a running club that welcomes runners of all levels. The club meets on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Victoria Park. More information can be found by emailing Temple.
Fast Trax Run and Ski Club meet on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. This club includes beginners and runners training for half marathons. They have workout information available on the website, so runners can decide which runs are best for them.
November Project is perfect for early birds. The club has been meeting for 6 a.m. runs since 2013, and they run no matter the weather. Runners can join the November Project on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at various locations around Edmonton as specified on the website and social media.
Lululemon Run Club is an excellent option for beginners. The club meets at the Lululemon on Whyte Avenue every Wednesday evening. The road runs are a great way to socialize and explore the Whyte Avenue community.
Wild Rose Runners meets every Tuesday and more often some weeks. The running location is about to change for the spring, so stay tuned to their Facebook group to get location updates.
Runners can find many more clubs in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
Strava is a great resource for finding running clubs. Runners can sign up for free and find the best running clubs for themselves there.
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