How to Survive Winter Running (A One Step Guide)

Come on already! It’s what all of us in the Midwest are screaming at the top of our lungs. If you’re not screaming it, I’m sure you’re thinking it. Old man Winter is not cutting us any slack. Here’s the thing. You still want (or have) to get outside and log some miles. Snow, sleet, rain, cold. Doesn’t matter. Runners gotta run!

Sometimes your mileage goals are not enough to get you out of your warm house and out the door. It’s easy to make excuses. What you need is the proper motivation, my friend. While we’re discussing problems, here’s another one. What do you do when your favorite Summer beer goes out of season for the… season?

Winter Running in Milwaukee, WI

Running in the Winter presents a long list of obstacles. There will be days the temperatures drop below zero degrees and days the snow and/or ice make traction nearly impossible. Now, just when you’re feeling down on Winter you realize that you can’t go out to the store and grab a six pack of your favorite Summer-time beverage. Accumulation of problems, am I right?

Don’t fret beer running friends. I’ve got a “two for one” solution to your Winter running blues. You need a plan to keep yourself motivated during the dark and cold months of Winter. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite beers, Bell’s Brewery Oberon Wheat Ale.

My Winter Survival Kit

Oberon is a delicious Summer-time wheat beer made with only 4 ingredients. If you follow any health food blogs, in most cases the less ingredients a product has, the better it is for you. I think four is a pretty solid number! Cheers to health!

Oberon is available for you to purchase starting in April and ending in August. With a shelf life of six months this provides you a wonderful opportunity. Here’s the plan that I executed this Winter to help me get my best Winter of running since I was a college runner!

  1. Estimate what kind of beer supply you’ll need for the Winter. For me this was a case of 24 Oberon + 1 Six pack.
  2. Purchase at your favorite local liquor store or beer depot. (We like to support our local small businesses where we can!) Pro Tip: If you go during late August or early September you can find some great deals as they’re trying to clear Summer beers for the newer Fall seasonal beers.
  3. Make a promise to yourself that each time you go out and run when you just don’t want to that you’ll treat yourself to a “recovery” Oberon Wheat Ale.
  4. Rinse and Repeat.

I would love to say that it’s as simple as that. It’s not. Winter running takes a lot of motivation and dedication. In the words of Phil Connors in Groundhog Day:

Groundhog Day (1993)

“When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope.”

Winters don’t have to feel this way. Find something that motivates you. Reward yourself for sticking to your training. What works for me is knowing that after an hour trudging through those Midwest Winter elements I can come home and feel proud about adding more miles to the running log while I sip on a refreshing Oberon Wheat Ale.

What motivates and inspires you through your Winter running? Also, I’m curious what kind of seasonal beers do you miss in the off-season months? Do you hoard them like a desperate squirrel as well? Or is that just me?

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