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  • How to Conquer Training in Alaskan Winters

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    How to Conquer Training in Alaskan Winters

    When people from out of state think of Alaskan winters, they often think of cozy books near a fire and searching for the Northern Lights. However, as we all know that is rarely the case as Alaskan winters can host some of the most extreme weather. This weather makes it challenging to continue to get out and stay active throughout the cold and dark winter months. Below are a few tips that will help you in getting out the door.

    Gearing Up

    Have you ever been so cold that you feel like you’re about to lose your fingers or toes? How about putting on too many layers and finding yourself swimming in your own sweat? Being too cold and too hot are both things that you want to avoid. Initially, it can be hard to find your Goldilocks level of layering, but that is where experimenting comes in. Don’t get discouraged if you are struggling to nail down your winter adventuring attire as everyone’s body temperature varies. One thing that will help is to invest in quality outdoor gear, items that are made for specific adventures. Items like this can be found at local running and outdoors stores, but gems can also be found thrifting. 

    Buddy Up

    Find a friend or family member who is willing to join you on your adventures. Whether you’re new to winter running or are a seasoned veteran, we all fall victim of using the weather as an excuse. Having someone to join you will not only aid in accountability, but it will also make it more fun! If you are having trouble convincing someone you know, come out to our weekly community Happy Runs in downtown Palmer on Monday’s at 6pm to find some other “crazy” runners. 

    Embrace the Dark

    It’s going to be dark whether you want it to or not so investing in a quality headlamp is a game changer. I’ve come to love the stillness that the dark has to offer. Everything seems to be a bit more magical, especially after a fresh snowfall when the snowflakes twinkle like a million little stars. Who knows, you might even be able to turn off the headlight and experience being active under the Northern Lights! 

    Mix it Up

    The Mat-Su Valley is a recreator’s paradise. With trails galore, you can choose your activity - hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing and more! When you’re training, you don’t need to run every day of the week or even most days of the week. Find which activities help get you out the door and continue doing them. Who knows, you might even find yourself longing for winter during the summer months!

    Stay Positive and Remain Flexible

    Alaska weather is about as unpredictable as it gets. Be willing to adjust hard effort days or take a rest day instead of logging your miles based on the weather. Whether it's unsafe for you to be out, or the effort isn’t attainable due to the conditions, be willing to adjust our schedule and remember that you can’t control the weather, just your attitude!

    Reward Yourself

    After getting out and adventuring, be sure to reward yourself. This can look like a lot of different things. For me, it’s a warm cup of tea or a soak in the hot tub. Other things could include, getting some food or drink at a local establishment, watching a movie, reading a book, or playing board games. You’ve worked hard and embraced the elements, now get cozy and relax!


    Not every day will be easy to get out and do something, but it will totally be worth it. You’ll find that if you can conquer the weather, there will be a shift in your mindset that’ll leave you feeling more confident than ever before. So find yourself some quality outdoor gear, grab a buddy and get out and play!



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