There are two types of people, those who run on the treadmill when it gets cold, and those who would rather brave negitive sixty than run inside. Well nemotive sixty runners, I’m with you (if it’s not windy). Today I’m going to tell you the secret of running outside in the winter and not freezing.
1. Wear the right clothes.
We have all seen this chart on what to wear for what temperature, while this is a good guideline, it’s not the same for everyone. If it’s under thirty, I’m breaking out the fleece lined pants.
A guid for me is more layers up top, I always find my core gets colder before my legs do. If the tempeture is thirty five degrees or under I will wear two layers of non cotton shirts, one long sleeve, one short. Then some sort of fleece. On top of the fleece I’ll add layers as needed.
My newest guilty pleasure for runs under thirty five degrees are fleece lined running pants. I know these have been out for a while, and I’m slow on jumping on this bandwagon, but man, these are the best thing since sliced bread. I got a few pairs when I went out to Colorado two years ago, but I didn’t run in them. Then my mom bought me fleece lined tights from Athleta and my legs are toasty no matter what.
I have very bad blood circulation, or as I like to call it ombré hands. After coming in from the cold my fingers will be white as paper and as you get down to my hands they gradually get more color. If it’s under forty degrees I need to wear gloves, but since my hands get so cold I like to wear mitten so I can ball my fingers around a hand warmer. I recommend buying the biggest bag of hand warmers Amazon.
RPro tip: if you are wearing mittens use toe warmers. You can stick the toe warmers to the inside so it covers your whole hand, well except your thumb.
3. Smartwool socks.
I don’t want to be an advertisement I swear, but these socks are amazing. I use the Smartwool socks for snowboarding, and the running specific ones for running, and if they made ones that I could wear to work, I’d be all over them. Nothing ends a run faster for me then my feet being numb (yes this happens a lot, remember poor blood circulation) but with the right socks I am able to keep going forever and that’s perfect for ultra training.
4. Warm up inside before heading out.
Jumping jacks, burpees, hell do a six minute dance to your favorite two songs, if your warm before you head out the initial shock of the cold will be a lot less severe and won’t scare you away as much. Also it will work on your dance moves for the next time you have to go out to the bar and you drink too much and you just want to dance. Yeah, okay like I’m the only one that happens to.
5. Pop in a playlist that makes you feel badass.
Dude, you’re out there in the cold, own it. How many other people do you see running in this weather? If you live in the middle of nowhere like myself it’s zero. My winter playlist is more in your face and angry than my typical running playlist because, well, why not. Yell at me give me motivation to be there.
6. Congrats, you did it, now change out of those clothes ASAP.
Its negative ninety five out, you just ran, chance are you sweat, get out of those clothes before you start shivering. If you’re like me it doesn’t matter what the temperature is, you sweat at any degree. My fondest memory of running and then shivering for two hours was after the Manhattan United Airlines Half Marathon in ten degree weather. I PRed my half marathon hopped in a taxi to go back to the hotel and we got stuck in traffic, causing me to shiver for two hours then take the hottest shower of my life.
If you read all of these and decided that its still cold and it’s not worth the risk, that’s fair, running outside isn’t for everyone. I commend those who have the patience to be on a treadmill for over an hour. But for those who brave the weather no matter what, we run together. Let me know if you need a training partner, for I am right there with you.