As with every season, an athlete needs to stay active in the winter. The cold up here in Ohio creates a special challenge, but honestly most of that challenge is motivation. Getting yourself dressed and outside for a run when it is chilly or outright freezing stops too many people. I suggest planning what you wear for cold weather running, make a habit chart for how you will be active everyday and stick to it faithfully. You should also change your expectations. If you are running in the winter to maintain fitness for Spring, you should take your pace down a notch and consider increasing your mileage per run. Winter is a great time to get the four or five milers in at an easy pace that you were doing in the summer before cross country practice. The focus on speed is low priority for winter runs out of safety and consideration for your mind. You need to give yourself an intensity break, so when Spring Track (or other sport) arrives you ramp back up and apply yourself everyday at practice. If you are enjoying a winter sport, runs can still be a part of your regular fitness routine. You may need to relegate them to the weekends, but it is ok to go for two run on the two weekend days if you have been playing basketball or wrestling during the week. In fact, I would argue if you want to have a strong Track and Field season, running on weekends at least is a must for the distance crew. Swimming is a great winter sport to improve your distance running but remember you need to maintain strength and resilience in your legs, so including regular running in this sport to is important to your Spring season. So if you are a Middle Schooler reading this and you are not in a Winter Sport and are focused on Spring Track and Field, run 4 times a week and do it outside as often as you can. Use some of the core and strength training we developed in Cross Country and do that 3-4 times a week. One run can change your day, running everyday can change your life!