A man runs across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, during a weekend snow storm blanketing the East Coast in snow. (Source: Tribune News Service)

Winter may seem like an unavoidable obstacle for runners and bikers, but snow on the ground doesn’t mean that all progress needs to cease. There are a handful of ways that athletes can stay in shape and prepare for the next racing season.

Apart from running outside on the trails or even along the roads, one option for runners is to get into weight training, specifically for strengthening cardio and support muscles.

CrossFit gym owner Gary Boden explains that weightlifting can actually enhance a runner’s experience.

“I get a lot of runners who join my gym in the winter. They want to keep in shape and especially their cardio when it’s too cold to run outside,” Boden said. “It makes a big difference when runners stop running regularly because they can lose a lot of what they worked up to, and working out in a gym can help them keep what they earned.”

Boden went on to explain that many runners don’t understand that it is important to strengthen the surrounding muscles to improve form and stability. One way he suggested accomplishing that was by lifting weights.

“Think about building a house. You can’t build the roof and expect it to support itself,” he said. “If runners lift weights occasionally to support their running, running would be a lot more comfortable and lasting because they aren’t just working out the same muscles and forgetting about the surrounding ones.”

The Weber State Running Club is available for students looking to improve motivation or to find some new friends with common interests.

Allison Qualls is the president of the club, and she has been leading running groups since the club’s creation in March.

Members of the Weber State running club generally run one to five miles on any given day, but Qualls hopes to organize longer runs for people who would like to run 10 miles or even more.

“We have a range of runners in the club,” said Qualls. “If you are talking about minutes per mile, it ranges from eight-minute to 14-minute miles.”

Qualls also recognizes that many runners have different abilities and goals. She said, “At the moment, we stop and wait for runners to make sure they see where we are going, but I hope to change this and make two groups compiled of slow and fast runners.”

The club stays active in the winter months as well. They try to keep running, no matter the month, so they do not lose any of their progress.

“If it is going to be harmful for our health, then we run inside, or we do circuit training, because running takes all different types of muscles,” Qualls said.

Qualls wants everyone who is interested in running to join the running club.

Qualls said, “People can get involved with running club by liking our Facebook page, Weber State Running Club.”

The group meets at 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and also meets at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Swenson Gym’s indoor track entrance.

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