5 Ways to Make Winter Running Fun

5 Ways to Make Winter Running Fun

These trail pictures were taken at Chain O'Lakes State Park, Albion Indiana, where the GE40 and IT 100 Trail Races are held.

Do you avoid running in the winter? You don’t have to. These tips will help make your winter running fun. If you are like me and want to avoid the “Dreadmill”, proper preparation will keep you outside and enjoying your run.

1. Adjust your training time and route

Winter running means less daylight and colder temperatures. Early morning or evening times are dark and the coldest. Whenever possible, adjust your running times accordingly. If you have a flexible work schedule, go in early or stay late and take a longer lunch break to get in your running during daylight and a warmer time of day. On the weekends, plan your runs for the warmest part of the day.

Plan your route and where you will park. You should plan your route with access to bathrooms and your car in mind. If you have to drive a little farther to train at a park with heated bathrooms, it is worth the drive. Use the bathrooms and your car like an aid station; as place to warm up and change clothes.Keep your out and back or loops short, this will give you more access to keep warm or if needed shorten your run. Another benefit will be for water refills to help avoid freezing, more on this in tip number 5.

2. Choose the proper clothing and gear

It is beneficial to dress in layers. Don’t dress too warmly, it doesn’t take long after you start sweating and your clothes get wet until you get cold. Pack extra clothes in your running vest and car and change as often as needed to stay dry and warm.

There are many articles are what shirt or jacket or pants to wear, I won’t go into details. The most helpful thing I have seen is the What to Wear calculator.

3. Prevent falling, keep your feet protected and warm

Slipping on ice and falling down on ice is certainly no fun, however it can be prevented with the right gear. Many people use spikes or screws. My preferred way is using sheet metal screws. I use Hex head sheet metal screws, size 8, 3/8” long. You can use a drill, put the screws in the lugs, and it only takes a few minutes to “screw your shoes”. The first time I ran with screws in my shoes, I was running on a sheet of ice and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.

A great way to keep your feet protected and warm is to use gaiters. The picture about is of my running partners and I at a recent event. Gaiters will keep the snow and any other debris out of your shoes, which in turn keeps your feet warmer.

Other tips for keeping your feet warm are wearing wool socks, and when it’s really cold, wear 2 layers, you can also put hand or foot warmers in your shoes.

4. Keep your head and face protected and warm

Keeping your head warm is very important, in addition to all the choices of hats and a hood on your running jacket, wearing a buff on your head is another alternative. The picture shows some ways to wear it.

Some ways to keep your face protected are wearing a buff around your neck and pulling up over your nose. In very cold, a balaclava is a life saver. Additionally, Ski Googles are great, they act as sunglasses and don’t fog up.

5. Keep your Hydration bladder or water bottle(s) from freezing

Having your hydration bladder, hose, or water bottles freeze is no fun. I learned about this the hard way and want you to avoid this problem.

Some things you can you do are:

  • Use hose that is insulated
  • After you take a drink, blow the water into the bladder
  • Tuck it inside you’re your shirt
  • Wear a jacket or other layer of clothing over your vest
  • Add electrolytes or alcohol to lower the freezing point
  • Fill your bladder or water bottle with room temperature or slightly warm water

Champions know there is no off season, the off season is the season. Don’t let winter stop your training and fun.

Follow these “5 Ways to Make Winter Running Fun” and go outside and enjoy your run!

 

 

How I Broke My Sugar Addiction

I have been Sugar free for over 3 full months. This blog will tell you How I did it and give you some tips so you can too. I did not think it was possible, but it is. You CAN break your sugar addiction!

Definitions:

A friend of mine loved to say, “let’s define terms”. When I say sugar, I am talking about highly processed high sugar foods like candy, cake, soda or pop or other foods with high sugar. This definition also includes most fruits, yes, I said fruits, I can hear some object saying It’s natural sugar, however sugar is still sugar. I am also talking about reducing the amount of sugar in other food, it is shocking and appalling when you read the food labels and see how much sugar is in so many foods. My starting point was to eliminate all the highly processed – high sugar foods like candy and reduce my sugar intake of other foods starting at 30 grams per day and reducing that amount each week.

Let’s get into the details of how it did it.

The first step was I had to admit that I had a problem. Step 1 of the 12 steps says “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.” The week before I stopped eating sugar gave me plenty of opportunities to see how bad my problem was.

I  planned to win

Zig Ziglar in His book “Born to Win” said “You were born to win, but to be the winner you were born to be you must plan to win and prepare to win! Then, and only then, can you legitimately expect to win.” This is great advice that can be applied to breaking your sugar addiction.

My plan was picking a date when I would stop eating sugar. The day before, I ate and drank as much sugar as I wanted for one last binge. A very important step was to get rid of ALL of the sugar in the house! If you have a family or roommate, ask them to keep their candy or other sugary foods out of your view.  An alcoholic who wants to stay sober would get the alcohol of their house, sugar is just as dangerous, GET it out of your Sight! I knew I could not trust myself to stay out of the candy or other sugary foods. This has served me well.

I prepared to win.

Before quitting sugar, I had watched a documentary about sugar, and how following standard American diet has failed and obesity that impacted me.

To succeed, I educated myself about sugar. I started leaning how bad sugar is and the problems it can cause, for example: obesity, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, risk of heart disease, risk of depression, and can your energy.
I learned just how addicting sugar is and that eating sugar makes you crave more sugar.
I also looked up some of the benefits of quitting sugar such as: losing weight, preventing mood shifts or swings and reduced the risk of depression, reducing inflammation, increased focus and mental clarity, more energy and no energy slumps, can lower blood pressure

 An important part of preparing is developing a strong WHY. Think about why you want to quit and the benefits of a sugar free life. For me the biggest reason was weight loss, I am very active with running and walking, yet was still overweight. I set big goals for running and needed to get better and losing weight helps. I also did not like being out of control and how bad I felt after a sugar binge.

I expected to win.

I planned to win and prepared to win; therefore, I could expect to win.  I made up my mind that I would succeed. Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’ Go into this journey with the mindset that you can do this, and you will do this.

The Plain Truth

I’m not going to sugar coat it, (pun intended) the process is simple, but it I hard. You will go through a similar process as someone who quits alcohol. You will most likely experience some physical pain of sugar withdrawal or detox. At first you will miss the sugar. If you are like me, who had a love affair with sugar You will see other people eating it and want it. You may feel worse before you get better, but you WILL feel better and see that it is worth it.

In a short time, I began to feel better in so many ways:

  • Physically, I started losing weight, I am feeling stronger and faster in my runs. I used to have pain in my leg that caused me to slowly build up to running in the 1st few miles, that problem healed itself.
  • The sugar cravings stopped.
  • My moods have been stable and have not had any depression.
  • My energy has improved tremendously.
  • I was surprised and grateful for the unexpected mental changes such as: More focus and mental clarity.
  • New dreams and goals like inspiring people through public speaking, writing and making videos.

Summary:

  • Admit you have a problem and be willing to Change.
  • Make your plan and pick a start date.
  • Remember your WHY.
  • Remember the benefits and how much better you will feel.

My favorite modern-day Motivational Speaker is Eric Thomas. When I run, I often listen to him say “I can, I Will, I must”.
I want you to say out loud with me “I can, I Will, I must”.
Say it again, “I can, I Will, I must”.

Pick your start date to stop eating sugar, stick with it and DON’T quit! You can do it! You can, you will, you must.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zig Ziglar – “You Were Born To Win”

Zig-born to win

Zig Ziglar was one of the best and most popular motivational speakers. After watching a documentary on Amazon Prime called “Zig: You Were Born to WIN” I have a renewed interest and respect for one of my all time favorites, Zig Ziglar.

Plan to WIN

Make a plan to win. “Planning has to be based on getting a clear vision of what you want, because without a vision you don’t know which goals to set. Without goals you have no targets, and without targets you have nothing to measure how you’re doing”.

Zig was great at talking about goal setting. Zig’s goal setting covered 7 major areas which are called “The Wheel of Life”, it has seven spokes, and each spoke a core area of life; Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Family, Financial, Personal, and Career.

The 7 steps of goal planning:

Step 1: State the Goal
Step 2: Set a Deadline
Step 3: Identify the Obstacles
Step 4: Identify the People, Groups, and Organizations that Can Assist
Step 5: List the Benefits of Achieving the Goal
Step 6: List the Skills You Need to Acquire to Attain the Goal
Step 7: Develop a Plan

Prepare to WIN

Automobile University

Preparing to win takes time and knowledge. With all the things competing for your time, who has the time to read or watch videos? There is another way…  Zig coined the phrase “Automobile University”. He quoted a study by the University of Southern California, “if you live in a metropolitan area and drive 12,000 miles a year you can acquire the equivalent of two years of college education in three years’ time by listening to educational information in your car”.  If you don’t drive much, then maximum your time and get educated while exercising.

Expect to Win

If you have planned to win and prepared to win, then you should EXPECT to win. You put in the work, you should expect the reward. Successful athletes plan and prepare for their wins, they go to their event and expect to win. “”If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner” (Zig Ziglar)

Take action today and be the winner you were born to be. Remember, plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.

 

 

 

Invasion of Privacy – Facebook ads what can you do?

You are browsing in incognito mode, clear your history, and yet you are getting ads on the subject you were browsing. Feels like an Invasion of Privacy.

There is a scene in Parks and Recreation that illustrates the problem and how Ron solves it in a typical Ron “Freakin” Swanson way. You can watch it on YouTube;  “Parks and Recreation – Ron vs. Online Privacy (Episode Highlight)”

April: “There are these things called cookies, where like if you go to a site and buy something, it’ll remember you and create ads for other stuff you might want to buy”
Ron “So it learns information about me, seems like an invasion of privacy
April: “Dude, if you thank that’s bad, go to google earth and type in your address.”

As comical as Ron is, there are some practical steps you can take:

  1. Close other browser windows while surfing, then close or quit the browser.
  2. Use one of my favorite FREE tools CCleaner.There is both a Windows and Mac version.
  3. Turn off Ad personalization in Google.
    1. Go to Google my account page and then click on ‘Data & Personalization’ (left side)
    2. Scroll down this page and find the Ad personalization Click ‘Go to ad settings’ and click the button to turn ad personalization off. By switching this off, you’ll no longer see personalized ads on YouTube, in Google searches, or on websites that use Google advertising.
  4. Change Facebook Ad settings.
    1. Click the drop down arrow next to the notification bar at the top right. On the drop-down menu that appears, click Settings.
    2. click Ads on the left side. On the ‘Ads’ page you’ll have a number of options to choose from: Ads based on data from partners, Ads based on your activity on Facebook Company Products that you see elsewhere, and Ads that include your social actions

These steps may not stop all of the tracking, but what else can you do? Keep surfing or throw your computer in the trash like Ron Swanson.

Ron throws away computer

You can break your sugar addiction

Have you ever said I could never stop eating sugar or I can’t break my sugar addition? Felt out of control or helpless?
I have been sugar free for over 2 months. I did not think it was possible. I have GOOD NEWS for you, there is Hope, you can break your sugar addiction and cravings.

I had someone say to me “I could never stop eating sugar”. That inspired me to make this video. I used to feel that way too. I made this video to inspire and give people hope that “You can break your sugar Addiction” I broke my sugar addiction and you can too.

You Can Break Your Sugar Addiction-you can do it