Yesterday after class I stepped outside and while walking back to my office thought, “today is a beautiful day to run. Blue skies, sun, no wind.” Granted it was a chilly 35 degrees, but the no wind and sun at my altitude makes for a perfect run. I was busy inside working from 8-6 yesterday and went to the gym at 5:30am knowing that I couldn’t fit a run in. But, I work from home on Tuesdays. Surely today would be as beautiful as yesterday.
I woke up to 20 mph winds. I don’t mind the cold, but the cold with the wind makes for a tough wind chill and a miserable run. I may have to high tail it up to the trails where I am protected from the wind by the trees to get my run in today.
So, running in the cold. It’s a necessity if I want to make it through the winter’s here. I try to run on the treadmill as little as possible. If you hate the cold, I think you would be surprised how easy and fun it is to run in the cold because your body heats up fast. It’s quite invigorating to have a warm inner body, but cold cheeks and toes. Plus nothing tastes and feels better than a hot cup of coffee and a hot shower after a cold run!
Some rules I have for winter running:
1. I don’t run if the wind is over 20mph and the temp below like 50 degrees. However, if the wind is minimal my minimum temp for running is 25 degrees.
2. Dress 20-30 degrees warmer than it is outside. Your body heats up-fast. I promise.
3. Layer. Base layers are the most important. You don’t need bulky sweatshirts or sweatpants, just good solid moisture wicking layers with maybe a fleece or light vest over the top.
4. Cover those ears.
5. Cover those toes. Thicker moisture wicking socks are important too since our running shoes are usually mesh and ventilated.
Less is more when running in the cold, but you also have to be smart. I don’t mix the cold with the wind due to windchill and frost bite conditions. But, if it is snowing-run! Usually when it is snowing the temperature warms up. You may get a little wet, but it’s beautiful and not compromising on the body’s warmth. Sanity wise, running outside throughout the winter beats the blues for me. Try it!
Any cold weather runners out there? Any other tips? Or do you avoid it altogether?