Knowing When to Say, “No.” to the Cold Run

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I remember a post I wrote back in 2010 about being on an out and back training run and not realizing until I turned around that I was running WITH the wind on a very cold December morning in Indiana. I recall the temperature being in the teens and even though it was sunny once I turned into the wind I didn’t have my water pack (camel bak) on wind blocking duty.  Turns out I was ill equipped for that run and I almost repeated the error today except it’s nearly 20 degrees colder when factoring in windchill.  I posted on my Facebook account the following message this morning after coming back inside:

“Just stepped outside and forgot something as the “breeze” hit me.

I forgot that…

  1. I don’t run in 12 degree weather because I don’t like to run in 12 degree weather especially for 18 miles.
  2. The windchill is -1 degree and the temperature is dropping at the moment.
  3. I have a gym membership where they have treadmills inside a heated building.
  4. I will gladly (and warmly) accept ridicule only from my Canadian friends to the North as they did this at -30 degrees a few days ago. At least they were smart enough to have the proper equipment.

See my next blog post on gear I need to go outside today and run.”

*End FB post

The Proper Equipment is Key

Stepping outside reminded me why I want to live in Florida and that I have personal limits on training runs in regards to outside temperature. It also reminded me that I need to stock up on winter running gear.

For friends and family who need any last minute gift ideas for me here are a few suggestions to not only make me deliriously happy, but also warm and cozy on my winter excursions down ye olde runnin’ trail.

  1. Sock Liners – These are a base layer for your feet. Depending on the temperature a couple different options may be appropriate
    1. Hyperlite Stormsock for cold, but not super cold temps.
    2. Stormsock – Heavier than the previous so it’s good to go for those negative temps
  2. Clavas – You know those Ninja hood looking things from the old BlackBelt Theatre shows in the 80s?  What, you didn’t watch?  Ok, forget the BlackBelt Theatre and just think of a Ninja wearing that mask that only shows the eyes…or maybe the eyes, nose, and mouth depending on the style.  THAT is a clavas (sometimes called a headliner) and they make them for winter excursions and/or idiots like me who go out for runs in sub-zero temperatures. Definitely need one of these!
  3. Masque – Depending on the style of masque it can cover the lower part of your face such as the nose, mouth and chin to compliment the clavas described above.
  4. Mittens – Yes, mittens, not gloves and not the kind I wore to kindergarten. I need mittens designed for running. Keeping the fingers together will keep them warmer. If you can get a combination glove/mitten then even better! These are gloves that have a flap that will pull over the finger so it looks like a mitten and adds extra protection from the wind. A lot of runners forget that their hands need protection from the wind too. Remember, extremities will be effected by frostbite first as the body tries to pull heat into the core of the body. Don’t risk your digits.

Gear I already have, but that you should get for cold weather.

Remember, the rule of thumb is three layers for the upper body and two layers for your legs/lower body.

  1. A base layer for your upper and lower body. I like Under Armour Cold Gear, but there are other brands too.
  2. A fleece layer for your upper body to go over the base layer
  3. A wind pant made for running.
  4. A wind protection top to go over the fleece layer

Want more information on cold weather running? I go to the website IceMarathon.com as it has some information about running a marathon in Antartica. This information sheet in PDF format from the website lays it all out and even has links to some websites to buy the gear.

One final note.  This equipment doesn’t have to be expensive, but you aren’t going to find the quality equipment at Walmart and maybe not even Dick’s Sporting Goods for the gear you need when it’s pushing single digits and the wind picks up for a negative windchill. When this happens do one of two things. Either own the quality stuff or go to the gym.

Happy Training!

Brian

You can follow me on Twitter @TheRunningMan23 or “Like” my Facebook Page!

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