Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cold weather running=beast running


Since I'm home sick today, on the couch, looking outside wishing I could run, I figured why not join in the link up and write about cold weather running. After all, I run outside all year round! I have an ancient treadmill, which I rarely use, unless conditions are so icy that I risk slipping and falling. I actually enjoy running outside in the winter for several reasons. And just to be clear, I don't like winter or cold weather one bit. But getting outside and knocking off the miles in the winter makes me feel more badass than any other time I run. Take that winter! Plus, breathing the fresh air and getting some natural light helps keep SAD (seasonal affective disorder) at bay. When people learn that I run outside in the winter, the number one comment I get is "you're crazy". Well, I'm a runner. That's a given. The other comment is, "I don't know how to dress for the cold". Well, here's your guide. Having run through many winters, including last winter's polar vortex, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on running in the cold.

Snow!

I read once somewhere that you should dress for 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. This is really just a guide, and it is a good place to start. Now, if it's 0F, there isn't much difference dressing for 10F. It's all COLD! But check the weather conditions. If there's wind, there's wind chill, and you have to plan for that. If the sun is out, then you'll be a little warmer than you might if its' cloudy. And it's always better to underdress than to overdress. You will heat up as you start to run. You will sweat.

Hell, yeah, I'm cold! This is the bike path where I trained all summer!

I start with a long bra top and cover that with a wicking shirt. Over that goes another shirt, usually with thumbholes. If it's really cold, I might wear my fleece vest over that. On the bottom, I wear tights. For really cold conditions, I have fleece lined tights. I also have "windproof" tights I ordered from Athleta last year. They don't move as well as my regular tights, but if it is cold enough that I need to wear them, then I'm not moving that well either! On my feet go the smartwool socks, length again depending on the conditions. And then my shoes.

Now if it is snowy or has snowed over night, I usually will wear my shoes with YakTrax. These are coils that you slip over the soles of your shoes to help give traction in the snow. Running with YakTrax do make a difference in the way you strike the ground. Your shoes will feel stiffer, and you most likely will feel it later in your calves. Sometimes, if it's "warmer" and the snow is melting during my run, I take the YakTrax off and just use the velcro to wrap them around my arms.

He could have used Stabilicers!

When it's icy, I have Stabilicers to wear on my shoes. YakTrax do not work very well on ice. Speaking from experience, your shoes become like ice skates. Trust me on this. I've wiped out on hidden ice wearing my YakTrax. The Stabilicers have spikes in them to grip ice that you might encounter. They work great. They don't work as well in snow, which is why I have both. Yes, I'm hard core. But I'm still a little afraid to completely trust my Stabilicers and so I tend to run much slower and more gingerly than I would in clear conditions.

I always wear a hat or a fleece headband, and if it is really cold and windy, I have a neoprene face mask. I think I look pretty badass in it, but my family just laughs at me. Yeah, laugh away...

Cold weather runner. Don't mess.

My gloves have mitten covers on them, which work amazing to keep my fingers warm. I pull my thumbholes over my gloves. If it is really cold, I put hand warmers inside the mittens. If they get too hot, I can just keep them in my pockets.



And away I go. It is a lot of preparation to get outside in the winter, but once you're out there, you won't regret it. There are a couple other things to keep in mind:
-you will most likely have to run in the road, because a lot of people don't clear their sidewalks
-cars cannot stop quickly on snowy or icy roads. You have to stay alert.
-there can be ice hidden under snow so be careful
-you won't be the only runner out there! Remember the runners' code and wave and smile!
-running the morning after a snowstorm is truly an amazing experience. Take in the beauty and enjoy that you are able to do this!

Thanks to Run the Great Wide Somewhere , MCM mama runs, and My No-Guilt Life for hosting the link up. This was right up my alley!!!





37 comments :

  1. I live in the hot, steamy south, therefore I LOVE winter running. I usually don't have to run in anything lower than the 20s. My rule of thumb is to dress like it's 20 degrees warmer. The wind makes a huge difference and you must pay attention to that. My morning run today was a perfect 40 degrees! Light wind. Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. You definitely have a different perspective! LOL!

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  2. Except for the ice, I love winter running. The trails are empty, the air feels better and I can run forever and never overheat!

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    1. I do too! I just don't like that first mile or two...brrrr...once I warm up, I'm fine!

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  3. Love your perspective! I've heard of YakTraks but not Stabilicers....I probably could have used both last winter! I was thinking of getting a face mask like that but I do think I'll look silly!

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    1. Better to look silly than to be cold or get frostbite!!

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  4. I have heard to dress like it is 10 degrees warmer out as well. But honestly I like being warm when I step outside. So I never do. -L

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    1. You really do sweat, even in the bitter cold!

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  5. Totally with you that keeping SAD away is another benefit to running through the winter. I am sure I would have it otherwise. And I, too, have an ancient treadmill in the basement that is reserved for only the very worst of the worst days! Hate that thing.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one! There's nothing better than getting outside!

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  6. Haha, I absolutely hate running in cold weather. If it's under 35 degrees, count me out, you can find me on the treadmill. Although....they did have those neoprene masks on Amazon today for $1.50, so I bought one just in case ;)

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    1. I love my mask--I've had it for a while, but last winter it was a necessity!!!

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  7. Oh my. I feel like a tough runner for braving the Florida summers but those snowy pictures just look crazy! Stay safe and warm this winter! Thanks for linking up with us today!

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    1. Thank you for the link up! After running in the polar vortex, I don't think any weather scares me anymore!

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  8. I got a pair of the shoe stablizers last year and I was too afraid to use them!!

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    1. Really? Why? I feel so much safer with them on!

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    2. I still thought I would fall and hurt myself :)

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  9. Oooh I could use a neoprene face mask--mostly for cycling but I'm sure there will be some runs I could use it on!

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    1. It definitely was a must last winter! Brrr....

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  10. I want to find gloves with mitten covers - my new shopping mission! I haven't tried YakTrax but people in my running group are getting some now just in case we get snow -- it's always a question in D.C.

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    1. Mine are Saucony. I love them! I also had a pair of 180s that got me through many winters. I can recommend both!

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  11. I agree with you there is something so magical about running while it's snowing or in freshly fallen snow. So peaceful! I've never worn any traction devices beyond trail shoes in snow/ice. Maybe I need to investigate. I well remember those winter 20 milers when I trained for Boston. Totally badass.

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    1. Haha! I trained for WDW half--a January race throughout a terrible fall/December! I'll never forget those long runs in the ice and snow. Still better than the treadmill.

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  12. Growing up in Siberia (aka the UP of Michigan), I am not afraid of cold, snow and ice. I'll run in pretty much anything. My first ever 20 miler for marathon training was mostly on black ice. Cars were skidding out of control but there was no way I was NOT finishing that run!

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    1. I knew you had some midwest in you!!!

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  13. Went out in a surprise snow event Saturday. Cold, snowy and then rain and wind. Brrrrr. Came in frozen but proud.

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    1. Great job! Where was this? It seems so early for that kind of weather, but I guess not...

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  14. I have some rad snow spikes I got from Costco that are great in both snow and on ice. However, I really should get one of those face masks! I’ve tried putting scarves and such over my mouth and nose but they just get sucked into my mouth as I breathe! I bet the neoprene would have more structure.

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    1. This face mask is one of my favorite winter running things. The neoprene keeps my face dry and there's a little opening for my nose so I can breathe!

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  15. Hmm, I could use something for the first few laps around the rink just to spare my lungs a bit, I don't think the neoprene face mask is exactly it but it has me thinking.

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    1. LOL! I just had a mental image of an ice skater wearing the face mask...

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  16. WENDY! I'm so glad you mentioned these Stabilicers! I have never even heard of these, only YakTrax and, unfortunately, the majority of what we get around here in the winter is ice...and lots of it! I will definitely look into these; I have a friend who has YakTrax and often will loan them to me but, as you said, they are really not much help in icy conditions. Thank you! Hope you are feeling better, friend!

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    1. Let me know if you try them and what you think! I'm definitely on the mend, thanks so much!

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  17. You are totally bada$$! I do try to do as much running as I can outside. The problem around here is the variety in surface coverage when I'm running in my neighborhood. If it's snowy or icy, I'll be dealing with anything from completely dry surfaces to packed snow to black ice...

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    1. Oh, same here...keeps it interesting, for sure...a little dangerous too...

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  18. great posts. Winter runners are Beasts.

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