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There is no need to fear the freezing 5K over the winter! If you plan well, choose your race carefully and recruit friends, you can have an amazing time at a local race this winter.
Plan for Fun
Leave your PR mindframe at home to truly enjoy a few miles in the cold with a few hundred (or more) of like-minded runners. If you have been training hard for the better part of the year and have just finished a goal race, now is the perfect time to get back to the fun of running.
There may be more kids at a holiday/winter fun run than normal so be prepared! They like to get right up front and sprint for a quarter mile before petering out to a shuffle. Line up knowing you may encounter some pint-sized obstacles in the first half of the first mile and remember the spirit of the race.
Holiday runs are basically a moving party and nowhere is the term “the more the merrier” more applicable. Make sure everyone you invite knows this is the race to have fun with and, maybe even set goals for “most selfies taken on the course” or give “best costume” awards instead of racing for pace or age group bling.
I consider myself a serious runner but even I wear jingle bell antlers at the local Santa Run.
Truth be told, a friend lent them to me at the start line one year and reluctantly placed them on my head. The jingle of the bells had me smiling the entire way and, the pictures came out pretty great too.
There is no shortage of festive running attire these days and plenty of ways to shop for the perfect “decorations” for your race day outfit. From compression sleeves to ugly sweater techwick tops, you will be spreading holiday cheer well before you even start the race.
Choose a venue that has an indoor space to stay warm in pre-race and somewhere to get warm quickly post-race. Indoor bathrooms also go a long way this time of year!
A lot of races in colder temps will start a little later in the morning, allowing for a rise in temperatures so you can sleep in and stay warm(er). Winning!