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Nov 2, 2011

Running in cold weather without knowing it.

5 miles today; not too bad outside!


And so it begins.....Cold weather running!  The last several days have not been too bad(in the low 40's) but it's coming!!!!!

I really don't mind it too much.  Actually, as long as there's not 12 inches on the ground I don't mind the cold.  Last season I trained through the winter for a spring marathon.  I plan to run throughout winter this season as well.  Here's a few things that I do to help make it a little easier:

Wear the appropriate clothing
 - A good running jacket(I like Northface) that you can remove if needed

 - Long sleeve(thermal)
 - A fleece jacket(when you need three or four layers) - great outer layer when its under 20 degrees
 - Winter tights; when it's really cold, I will wear pants over tights.
 - A good running hat(like the one pictured above)
 - Good running gloves(or mittens when under 25 degrees - they work great)  I have running mittens
   that fold back and reveal cut off finger gloves.  That way if it gets too hot, you can open them up.

 - Wool socks when under 30 degrees
 - Duck tape - I use it when it gets under 20 degrees on the mesh part of the shoes to keep wind out
It really works!
 - A balaclava(or scarf) - when it's really cold; I only use it when its under 10 degrees

 - Winter underwear(for guys) - hey, it helps

Wear the correct shoes
 - normally I wear regular running shoes but I have some goretex trail shoes when it's really snowy out.

 - I also sometimes wear regular trail shoes too.

Protection from falling
 - Not that it will protect you but using screws on your shoes or Yaktrax help keep you more stable
 - I don't wear them very often; I usually just slow down when it slippery or when running on ice

 - While I did not use it much last winter, it's always an option.  Of course, I only used it about 10 times last year when it was really, really bad outside(like when we just got 15 inches and it's not plowed yet)

Other suggestions
 - I also bought several pairs of gloves, mittens and hats.  They take time to try out and you don't want to wear a wet hat or gloves to start.
 - Try to avoid wet slushy areas - keeping your feet dry makes a huge difference - ahhh, yeah.

 - Keep hydrating - just because it's cold does not mean you should stop drinking; it has to be pretty cold for the water to freeze since you are shaking it around - my water bottle I carry is usually good to zero degrees
 - Use layers(I use anywhere from 2 to 4 layers depending on the temperature outside.
 - If it's under zero, stay inside - jeez!  My limit is 10 degrees.
 - Run with a friend - they will help keep you motivated; I'm not sure I can convince my running buddy to run on the weekends this year.
 - Get out of your running clothes as soon as you get inside - it helps keep you warmer in dry clothes
 - I usually drink coffee or tea when I get back inside to help warm me up
 - Embrace it - your attitude outside help.  I prefer it to the treadmill so this is easy for me.

The goal:  Running outside without knowing it.

Question of the day?  Are you going to run outside this winter?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!


  1. I like the duct tape idea! I never would have thought of that! Thanks!

  2. I've got to remember the duct tape idea. I trained outside as much as possible last winter and plan to do so again this year -- the treadmill for me is always a last resort but I will use it if it gets too icy out.

  3. So excited about the duct tape idea! I started running last year and ran all through the winter. My cold feet were the one thing I couldn't figure out. Definitely trying that one out. Thanks!
    I ran a 10k on Thanksgiving last year- it was 4 degrees at the start. Never again! I had ice on my face halfway through.

  4. I don't have a treadmill so if I want to run I have to get my butt outside! I have trax for my shoes that work awesome. I ran on miles of ice last winter and never slipped once. Best thing I have. Okay maybe not the best but I do love them!

  5. How do you get the tape from the Ducks??????

  6. Duct tape is awesome! I will be running outside this winter, but it should be better in KY than MI. I trained for a spring full last year in MI, and I was thankful for Kensington being plowed for 5 miles. Cristina and I would run from bathroom to bathroom, back and forth 2x for our 3 20 milers, or run out and back from the far bathroom, and back for distances between 10 and 20. Knowing a warm bathroom was less than 5 miles away was always comforting, and we could go 5 miles without water, and get water there.

  7. Melissa - I did the same thing. Ran at Stony Creek on weekends where it's plowed.

  8. I'm going to feel more prepared for outdoor running this year after this great post! Thanks!

  9. This is a great post! I never thought to use duck tape on the shoes, and I've never tried wool socks. The fact that my thermal tights are not baby belly friendly may prevent me from doing the really cold weather running outdoors this year though. We'll see.

  10. Reading that post made me really cold!!!


  12. Hey there,

    First, wonderful blog. I found a ton of info about winter running, so thank you for sharing.

    And that is the reason I write. I just moved to Mt. Pleasant (north of you), and I was wondering what you recommend for running bottoms (pants). I am 5'11" and about 190. I run 3 to 5 times a week, but I come from So. Arizona, so I have never run in this kind winter of weather before. I have plenty of running tops for the cold (somehow they were easier to find), but not bottoms. Any suggestions are welcome. Cheers.


  13. Robert - I wear UA tights. I like tights(some men don't) because they tend to keep you warm. I've run in them as low as about 10 degrees with no problems. If you get cold, I suggest tights and then throw on a pair of running pants over them but you should be good with one layer down to 20 degrees. You can get them at Dicks sporting goods or online at their website. Also, try for lots of other brands. Take care.

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