A few weeks ago while giving a running talk the topic of some of the challenges of winter running in Kelowna came up. While swapping stories I was reminded of one early December night I decided to go for a run. I was a recent transplant from Vancouver and while used to the dark rainy winters I was not quite aware of the freeze/thaw cycles in Kelowna. Rounding a well lit corner in the Pandosy Village my foot hit a patch of ice and down I went. Thankfully I walked (ran cautiously) away from that incident with only a few bruises but I learned a valuable lesson. I know I am not alone in this scenario and there are many runners who ‘tweak’ a hip flexor, hamstring or knee trying to negotiate a safe running path in our dark climate. While we cannot prevent every injury from happening there are a few things you can do this winter to hopefully stay upright.
- Run on the pathways- these are often cleared and well travelled.
- Catch as might daylight as possible
- Find a well lit route.
- Run with a friend – winter running clinics are a great idea!
- Try changing your shoes to a trail runner with better tread.
- Invest in some add on traction for your shoes (Yaktrax, spikes)
And last but definitely not least!
- Add some balance exercises to your routine (wobble boards, bosu, 1 legs stands) and improve your ability to cope with those unforeseen slips and slides
If you do have a spill… ice, rest and don’t be afraid to visit your friendly neighborhood physiotherapist –we can swap stories!