Winter has stuck this week, all over Canada and even in a lot of places that don’t often experience it throughout the US. What does this mean for your running? For me, it doesn’t change much. Sometimes for simplicities sake I will hop on the treadmill for a short run, and if I have speed work scheduled, I’ll take it indoors, but especially for long runs I’ll brave just about any weather. The coldest days in Calgary were Friday and Saturday, but because I’m just coming of the marathon, I didn’t have many runs planned this week, so didn’t run outside those days. I did head out today though for my long run (12 km’s – it’s just a week post marathon). When I started the car said -15 Celsius, and I think the windchill was around the mid -20’s. Running in these temperatures really isn’t that bad if you dress for it.
Here are a few pointers on dressing and running in cold temperatures.
1. Dress in layers. Today I had a sports bra, short sleeve top, long sleeve top, fleece and a light jacket on my top half. If anything it was actually too many clothes. On the bottom I had two pairs of tights, and two pairs of socks, one of which was knee high. I also have some windbreaker pants that I wear sometimes when it’s really cold. I had thick fleece gloves, and would have had mitts overtop if I was organized and knew where they were. I wore a warm fleece hat and my wool buff overtop. I also have a great face warmer that has air holes in it so you can breathe without fogging everything up.
2. Head into the wind first. I often will run 1/4 of my run into the wind, then 1/2 the distance with the wind, leaving just 1/4 left back into the wind to finish up. Whatever you do, don’t do 1/2 with the wind first or things will royally suck on the way home.
3. Just get out there and do it. Seriously, the anticipation is way worse than the reality. I actually really enjoy the cold weather runs, it gets you outside in the daylight during the winter when we often don’t see much of the sun. Enjoy it.
Do you run outside year round? Do you have a temperature limit?