In Stride

Comebacks to Your Best Winter Running Excuses

Nice try. We've heard it all before.

Comebacks to Your Best Winter Running Excuses

The cold season separates the runners from the wannabes. Photo: Steven Gnam/TandemStock

Ah, winter! The season for hot chocolate, pond hockey, and excuses for skipping your run. Granted, even when the weather is mild, it’s not hard to convince yourself that staying in bed an extra hour is a better idea than that sunrise eight-miler, but the cold season is what separates the runners from the wannabes.

Of course, you already know this. But everyone has that friend and sometimes running partner who wants to go into hibernation from December until March. To help you persuade (or shame) your reluctant running companion to get out the door, here are a few suggested responses to some of the most common seasonal excuses for staying on the couch.

“It’s too cold to run.”

Sorry, but in an age when people go surfing among icebergs, that excuse just doesn’t fly. Put on a damn hat and some gloves (and if we may make a few suggestions).

“I don’t want to get hit by a car that skids off the road.”

Me neither. That’s why I’m happy we live in the age of reflective gear. And remember: run against oncoming traffic.

“Running in tights makes me self-conscious.”

Embrace the shorts-over-tights look, if you must. If anyone asks, the shorts are for “extra warmth.”

“There’s snow and ice everywhere.”

Lucky you! Rather than a regular, dull old run, you’re getting a makeshift obstacle course race—complete with snowbank hurdles and ice hazards—as part of the deal. You may not be able to sue an international event company if you hurt or kill yourself, but the kind old lady down the street who forgot to salt her sidewalk is fair game. Or just invest in shoes with better traction.

“I don’t want to get sick.”

Then drink kefir, dress appropriately, and get plenty of sleep. Also exercise—that is, go running.

“The days are so short, and I don’t like running in the dark.”

Unless Nosferatu is your next-door neighbor, there’s no reason you can’t just buy a headlamp.

“What if I get hypothermia?”

Unlikely. But if it happens—and you survive­—you’ll have excellent story material.

“Winter is a time for indoor sports!”

The way things are going, we might all be living underground soon anyway, so you better get outside every chance you get.

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