Search This Blog

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to survive this winter - runner edition

It has been a really rough winter for a lot of us.  Especially for New Englanders.  It seems that there is a different snow storm every week.  I have lost track of how many storms have hit Connecticut.   And if it's not a blizzard outside, its about 20 degrees or in the single digits with a lot of wind.   

It has been brutal.  

                     (this was the weather during Wednesday's 5 miler-  feels like 17 was generous)

Well, I keep telling all of you how I like to run and train in the winter.  Winter is my running "prime".  So I am trying to "suck it up buttercup"  and just adapt to the cold.  Well not really but adapt to running in the cold.

I know a lot of people just head to the treadmill when the temperature drop, and I can't blame you-  temperature control is great and a lot safer.  But I have my lovely little lab/hound mix that needs the exercise.  (and I really hate the treadmill)  So regardless of the snow,  of the temperature, of the wind  (to a certain degree), we run. 

Sometimes we aren't always thrilled about it, but for the most part....we run.  

There are a few articles of clothing/accessories that can turn a bad run into a better one.  I am sad to admit it has taken me a little while to figure out what works and doesn't work, but I think I have got the whole arctic blast running thing down.  And I am sharing my secrets with you. 

1.  The right base layers.  When the temperature drops to the 20s, I use almost the same outfit.  
My Under Armour thermal pants and a thick long sleve tech shirt 

2.  The right socks.  I used to thingkthose really expensive runner socks that swick moisture away were over rated.  I am a changed woman.  Nothing is worse than having sweaty feet (ew)  that turn into frozen feet (miserable).  Invest in some runner socks that swick the moisture away and keep your feet dry and warm. 

3.  A good windbreaker/coat.  Looking at my lululemon coat, you would think it is not warm AT ALL and is useless  (it is really light).  I am always amazed how warm this light running coat is.  It keeps me toasty on the coldest of run, and gets me sweating no matter what the temperature is.  It blocks the wind, keeps me warm, and has nice little vents.  I also love the offset zipper and the warm fuzzyness that covers my chin.face when I zip it up.  And I can't forget the thin hood that I almost always start my run with. 

4.  An ear warmer.  I always start my run with my hood on when its reallllly cold.  However, I dont tend to keep it on after the first mile.  I get really hot wearing it for too long.  So instead, I have a little ear warmer/headband that keeps my ears warm when my hood is off.  It is the pefect balance between toasty ears without getting super sweaty.  

5.   A neck gator.  This one took me a while to figure out I am sad to admit.  The first mile or so of my run was always really painful in the really cold temperatures.  The cold dry air hurt my lungs and made for a really uncomfortable first mile.  Pulling up the neck gator and breathing through that is perfect for breathing warm moist air instead of the cold dry winter air.  

6.  Big ol sunnies.  No I am not trying to make a fashion statement.  But yes I love oversized sunglasses.  Believe it or not they actually serve a purpose.  When I run in the cold without sunglasses I feel like my eyeballs may freeze.   Big sunnies like these keep the wind out of my eyes and a lot of my face.  They also help with the glare off of all that white snow.  

7.  Gloves.  I used to just wear cheapy little knit gloves on my run.  These were great becaese I could buy 5 pairs and leave them in my purse, car, house, etc.  Well on really cold days, these gloves aren't enough.  Buy a pair of thick running gloves that you can wear when it gets really cold.  My hands tend to get hot half way through, but it is really easy to rip them off and throw them in a pocket when you get too warm.  There isn't much worse than having frozen fingers during your run.  

8.  Tissues.  When it gets cold my nose runs like a faucet.  No I don't have a cold or allergies but being out there running just gets me so stuffy.  I always keep a little travel pack of tissues in my pocket of my running jacket.  If you haven't perfected the snot rocket (we all do it)  then tissues are a great option.  

9.  Safety :  Reflective gear and a good route.  I have run on slushy snowy roads and always make sure to have something reflective and bright on.  My lululemon coat is 360 reflective so I know when I am wearing that I am easily seen.  I also choose backroads with little to no traffic to make sure I will be safe(er) from any cars.

So you are probably thinking, that's kind of a lot of stuff to keep organized and at hand when you are ready for your run.  And I agree. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent searching for a pair of head phones, my garmin, a headband, or my sunglasses.  I got sick of wasting so much time so I developed my little running station right by the door.  Right  in my hallway I have my bin where I keep everything:  sunglasses, headbands, headphones, gloves, anything I could need.   I keep my sneakers right under the table and my jacket and camelbak on a hook right above it.  When I am ready for my run, everything I need is right there.  

So now you have no more excuses.  I gave you a few hints on running even when the temperature drops, and a way to find everything when you need it.  

If you need to warm up after, a hot shower/bath and a glass of wine always does the trick.  Don't let the cold keep you inside all winter.   Good luck all of you winter runners!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!