Guest blog submission by Andy Roat, Owner of Fleet Feet Des Moines 

Year-round running? In Iowa? Yes, it's possible and even encouraged! You don't have to give up your outdoor workout routine or resign yourself to the boredom of a treadmill just because the temperature drops.  

Throughout the fall and winter in central Iowa, many runners continue to run outside. Cold weather running is a great way to battle seasonal blues by taking it on, one stride at a time. Here are a few tips for running throughout the colder months: 

Keep running now. Continuing to run as the seasons change makes it easier for your body to adjust to colder runs.  

Dress appropriately! Dressing for the weather is simpler than you might think. Many runners wear too many clothes. Keeping your head and hands warm and your midsection dry goes a long way to happy running no matter the weather. Moisture-wicking clothing (not cotton), the kind found at a specialty running store, is key. Based on the temperature, layer up as needed. Dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer than it is. Your body will warm up as you start running! Being seen is an essential part of dressing appropriately. You can add lights to your wardrobe, and most technical running gear has reflectively built-in.   

Run in well-lit areas. Not only does this help with being seen, but it allows runners to see where (and on what) they are running. The biggest challenge of winter running is not cold temperatures – it's the ice. Crews throughout Greater Des Moines do a great job of clearing streets and paved trails to help keep you running safely. Some runners will prefer to run in trail shoes or running shoes with rubber cleats to help with traction. 

Start planning your cold-weather runs and be sure to check out Catch Des Moines' guide to the best trails in Greater Des Moines.  

You can continue to be a part of local running events this fall, like the Susan G Komen More Than Pink Walk on October 24 (virtual) and IMT Des Moines Marathon on October 31 (virtual). You can also join numerous free year-round running clubs. Two of the best known are the Capital Striders and Fleet Feet's social run groups, which meet year-round at the store on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. In December and January, Fleet Feet has a running group that embraces winter called "Winter Warriors" – join for your chance to win free prizes!