When it´s cold and dark, the first step of the run, stepping out of the front door can feel overwhelmingly difficult. This is something that Saana, a Finnish woman living above the arctic circle, knows well. Saana lives in Tromsø with her family of two children and a husband. She tells us now, why she loves running and how she survives the long winter with her favorite sport.
Saana started running as a part of her dog walking routine with her previous dog Ilona. Liina, the current dog, also loves running. Eventually, running became an important part of Saana´s life and today it´s her main sport. The simplicity and efficiency are something that keeps Saana motivated for running. She says that it is also the best exercise which can be maintained while joggling between work and family life.
The favorite place to run for Saana is the mountains which are basically right in her backyard in Tromsø. It´s not the speed or distance that matters for her but the experience of running in new places and the quick getaway feeling from hectic everyday life. Saana has no specific goals currently for her running. The summer running season has just ended and the new season is far away. She is also suffering from a minor knee injury which limits her running. But Saana has a dream that she could participate in the 105km trail running competition in Finnish Lapland next summer.
Winter running has always been part of Saana´s running routine. Last five years she has been running as much in the winters as in summers so she knows a lot, how to cope with the cold and dark climate. During the winter she does the speed running indoors since the snowy and slippery is not the best surface for that kind of training and she prefers to use the same shoes for summer and winter running. During the winter Saana trains also with snowshoes and skis when there is too much snow in the mountains for running.
Right gear means everything in winter running. Saana prefers to use the same running jacket as she uses in summer, only more layers under it are needed. Other clothing she prefers is wool socks, wool shirts, wool running bra, winter running pants, wool neck buff, headbands, gloves, insulated skirt and reflecting vest. If it´s really cold she wears two wool shirts on and wool pants under her running pants. Good headlamp and reflectors are really important to remember to make winter running safe and more enjoyable, Saana says.
Even though merino wool sports clothing can be cleaned only with some airing after the use, Saana prefers to wash them with wool detergent in the washing machine to keep them fresh. High-quality merino clothing can be machine washed and it lasts for years.
Saana encourages everyone to try winter running without stressing about the speed or distance. Even a short run gives a lot of fresh air and it´s always a better idea than just laying in the couch after the work day, Saana says.
You can follow Saana on Instagram.
Thank you Saana for the interview and enjoy the winter in beautiful Tromsø!