Coming to Oulu soon or maybe you are already here? Now it is August or September, sun is high birds are singing, everything seems to be perfect? Afternoon or morning run is always pure pleasure. But before coming to Finland you have heard about strong and burdensome winter with ice wind. Finns seems to confirm all those stories and they even trying to convince you to seize the day and summer hot time. If you like to spice up your life with a little bit of running during a week, now probably you are asking yourself “is it possible to keep my running trainings during this ice cold winter in Finland?”. Before I try to answer your question first things first. Yes winter in Finland is super cold and yes you will be missing sun so much. Imagine that you wake up – it’s still dark. You finish your school at 3 pm. – already dark! Those few hours of sun you will spend at school, not running across Oulu, admiring the views which here are perfect for running. In temperature reaching -25 you need appropriate clothes, otherwise chilblain is guaranteed! So use your thermal underwear wisely and don’t forget your cap and gloves.
Finns seems to not even be aware how cold it is outside and continue with their regular running. To be honest most of them will change snickers for skis, though. Nevertheless they won’t give up on their trainings so why should we? In my opinion Oulu is perfect place for running regardless during summer or wintertime. All paths in forests are maintained and illuminated very well so we don’t have to care about lack of sun. I have to be honest, running in deep forest full of snow in quiet or with your favorite music in your headphones is magical and helps you fight against voices in your head saying “it’s too late, too cold, too dark etc.).
For the rest of you, who are not such a big running maniacs or are afraid of the weather outside after all, University Sports of Oulu has prepared broad offer of indoor sports available for you in Oulu. Check out this page http://www.oulunkorkeakoululiikunta.fi/?page=home to learn more. And all my running friends see you soon!
Artur Andersz, Erasmus Exchange student