There’s one thing about my running group I quickly learned to be true shortly after starting to run with them. They never cancel due to weather. This works out great when you’re training for a marathon and need to get your miles in. Like clockwork, at 7:45 a.m. every Saturday morning year-round, a bunch of us set out for our 5 or 10 mile run.
Saturday was no different. However, there was a challenge we had to face—extremely cold weather. Runners should not be discouraged to run in frigid temps. That is, if they dress properly. Over the past year and a half I’ve been running outdoors, there are some precautions I take that have worked well for me. Many times, I’ve learned these things the hard way—by not following them and being very–well, cold.
1-I dress in layers, rather than wear one bulky article of clothing. This way, if I get warm during my run, I can always remove one layer.
2-The layer closest to my skin is very form fitting, such as a tank top, which keeps the heat in.
3-I make sure to keep all extremities covered, such as my head and hands. This is where most of the heat escapes. I always wear a hat that covers my ears, and gloves.
4-I recently learned–from having a scary experience where I couldn’t feel my fingers on a run–to wear mittens rather than gloves. When my fingers are touching each other, I find they are warmer.
5-If I’m running in gloves and my fingers begin to get very cold, I take them out of the finger part of the gloves and make a fist with them. (I just learned this one on Saturday!)
6-In the coldest of temperatures, I wear a scarf to cover my face. If I get warm during the run—which usually happens—I can always wrap the scarf around my waist or hand.
7-I wear running tights, as opposed to regular sweatpants. They are closed at the bottom and do a good job of keeping the heat in.
8-No matter what temperature I run in, I always sweat and as soon as I stop running, the wet clothing makes me get very, very cold. So, unless I’m going straight home, I always bring a complete change of clothing with me to change into.
9-If, in addition to it being very cold, it’s really windy, pouring rain, or I’m under the weather— I opt for the treadmill instead. I always get a good workout indoors as well.
The best part about running 10 miles in 10 degrees on Saturday was it felt like a spring day on Sunday when Kathy and I ran 15 miles in 30 degrees!!!
Happy winter running!