8 reasons to trail run, even when it’s cold outside

Decorated ski mountaineer and trail runner Stevie Kremer of Crested Butte, Colorado, teaches her elementary students new stuff each day.

Stevie Kremer
A change in a trail’s landscape is enough to inspire Stevie Kremer to run further. Photo: Courtesy of Stevie Kremer

Over the years of racking up accolades on mountains worldwide, including a career highlight win at Switzerland’s epic Jungfrau Marathon, she’s also learned a little something about sticking with training over the long winter months.

It may be her German lineage (she was born there and now maintains dual citizenship in the United States), or it may be attributed to the fact that she lives in a mountain community that inspires in every season.

Among leaving athletes in her snow dust during winter challenges, like the Crested Butte to Aspen Grand Traverse, Kremer is also a regular on the Sky Runner World Series, a technical, high-altitude, five-race, distance running series.

In other words, she knows a little something about the human capacity to keep going, even when pajamas-in-front-of-the-fire weather sets in.

She shared with GrindTV her favorite ways to stay motivated to trail run even when the weather cools down.

Change is always good

I love the changing of the seasons because it comes with the changing of colors, temperatures and clothes! I actually get excited to layer up for winter running, especially with today’s lightweight, yet super warm and breathable, clothes.

On the flipside, you don’t really need anything to start running in the winter. Just layer up with what you’ve got and get out there.

Get a new perspective

Stevie Kremer trail running
Cold weather is the last thing that would slow down world mountain runner Stevie Kremer. Photo: Courtesy of Stevie Kremer
I enjoy seeing the mountains going from green to white. 

Crested Butte’s snow-capped mountains offer up a totally new view in the wintertime, which can really change up the same old trail runs. It’s amazing what you can gain from some newly “decorated” landscapes.

Bask in the briskness

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Stevie Kremer enjoys some brisk, mountain air on her run. Photo: Courtesy of Hillsound
Once you get into a winter groove, you’ll look forward to that moment of waking up to that crisp, cold air.

It’s way cooler than an alarm clock. There’s no better way to start your day than with a brisk morning jog.

It keeps ya social

A photo posted by Stevie Kremer (@steviekremer) on

It’s easy to cozy up by the fire with a loved one or your snuggly pet, but trail running with friends keeps you social throughout the cold season.

On winter days, it’s a great way to get updates on pals, partake in some friend-talk therapy and burn off all those holiday goodies you ate.

Do something different

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Change it up by jogging off the beaten path. Photo: Courtesy of 14erskiers
With a “repetitive” sport like trail running, it’s important to try something new each season.

Running on snow and ice can get slippery, so I throw on some crampons (I wear Hillsound Trail Crampons), and they get me safely through any slippery terrain.

Also, it’s another way to switch up running and get further off the beaten path.

Don’t ditch the trails

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With a good pair of running shoes, mountain trails are still a go. Photo: Courtesy of Darien Times
Who needs skis when you have sneakers?

With a solid pair of trail running shoes or Yaktrax-style slip-ons, anyone can run up a groomed mountain trail. Add some gaiters and you can go even deeper into the woods.

Plus, it’s a fun way to work on your downhills.

Races don’t take a break

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Stevie Kremer finishing at the Zegama-Azikorri race. Photo: Courtesy of International Skyrunning Federation
Stay motivated all winter long by signing up for a holiday 5K, or get stoked for a race in March.

Having a goal and a race waiting will keep you motivated to trail run all winter long.

Yes, you can run in the dark

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Running at night makes a great backdrop. Photo: Courtesy of Competitor
Don’t use shorter days as an excuse. Trail running in the winter is all about embracing the dark.

There is nothing more beautiful than running under the stars.

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