When snow strikes the UK most of us are happy to abandon our plans to run, or at least retreat to the treadmill until warmer weather returns. And there’s nothing wrong with that – snow runs can be magical affairs with epic views, but they can also be slippery, freezing nightmares.
However, one man who never says no to a bit of snow is Dr Andrew Murray, an ultramarathon runner and Merrell ambassador. Murray is a two-time Genghis Khan Ice Marathon champion and even temperatures below -40℃ don’t stop him from lacing up.
Coach asked Murray about his experiences running in the extreme cold and, more importantly, why on earth he chooses to do so.
How and why did you start running ice marathons?
Running is my way of seeing the world. I’ve enjoyed running in all conditions, from the jungles of Indonesia, to the mighty Namib, Gobi and Sahara deserts, as well as all sorts of cold places. I actually like the cold the most. The sun and I don’t mix that well – perhaps because I’m Scottish and have ginger hair! Places like far north Canada in winter are epic because of the Northern Lights, and Outer Mongolia in winter is an experience I’ll never forget, with more huskies than vehicles.
What’s your PB?
I’ve run 3hr 7min on ice. The conditions were actually pretty decent, with mostly ankle-deep snow and it being relatively warm at -25℃ that day. Ankle-deep snow is way easier than either deep snow or sheet ice – deep snow just saps your energy and on sheet ice it’s difficult to get much purchase.
Do you do any specific training to prepare for running in those conditions?
During the winter in Scotland you can get cracking cold conditions in the hills. It’s all pretty accessible – within an hour of Glasgow or two from Edinburgh – and it’s pretty cool to get out there and see familiar hills in the snow, then grab a hot chocolate or tomato soup at the bottom to defrost.
How do you stay warm?
It depends how cold it is, but once you are beyond -40℃ it’s definitely hard work. The general principles are to wrap up in lots of thin layers so they can be added or removed, rather than wearing one big layer. Ensure you have hat, balaclava, gloves and spare gloves. You can always buy commercial hand and foot warmers too. I tend to run in the Merrell Gore-Tex range with Sealskinz socks, both of which keep the heat in.
What extra equipment do you use?
Essentially I’ll have leggings and a long-sleeved top – one or two of each – a midlayer top, a balaclava, a buff, warm gloves, a compass, a map, a fully charged phone, some money and often some ski goggles. I also carry some food and something to drink – in something designed to keep it from freezing – plus emergency clothing in case I fall and break an ankle or something.
Do you slip over a lot?
It depends how the conditions are in terms of the ice and what I’m wearing on my feet. Having raced a few times on ice I’ve worked out what to wear on my feet, so probably less than most!
What Are 80 Day Obsession Workouts Like?
After hearing so much about Beachbody’s 80 Day Obsession and seeing the amazing transformations, I felt compelled to try the workouts. With my experience doing CrossFit three to four times a week for the past two years, I needed to see how these workouts compared. Would they be as intense and effective at building strength? Would they leave me as sore and as inspired? Would I trade my CrossFit obsession for the 80 Day Obsession? I decided to give it a week and see.
A Trainer Explains How to Get in Shape
You’re ready! Today is the day you start taking care of yourself so you can get in shape and feel stronger both emotionally and physically. That sounds great, but how do you get started? Fitness trainer and fat-loss coach Ivica Fridrih (@ivicafridrih on Instagram) shared these six principles to help you get in better shape while still enjoying your life. He said, “Whether you want to lose fat or build muscle, the principles are mostly the same,” so whatever your goals, these six are a must!
How to Finally Do Push-Ups
Mastering a standard push-up may seem impossible, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not. It may take some time, but I have faith that with practice and patience, you’ll have them down in no time. To help you improve your upper-body strength and get acclimated to what a push-up will feel like, I suggest incorporating the following exercises into your upper-body workouts.
- High plank
- Dumbbell bench press
- TRX Push-up
- Bent-over row
- Incline push-up
- Plank with shoulder tap
- Negative push-up
You don’t need to do all the exercises at once, unless you really want sore arms the next day. Instead, begin to incorporate at least one push-up variation, the dumbbell bench press, bent-over row, and high plank into your workouts. Try to do these exercises a minimum of two times a week. You won’t get them overnight, but within four to six weeks, you should find yourself a lot closer to performing a push-up. To learn how to do these seven exercises, keep reading.
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