Wednesday’s Workout – 5 easy recovery miles (8:27 pace) on the treadmill: 3.8 miles while both boys napped and another 1.2 after I went to get little guy from his crib (he sleeps 9-10 hours straight at night but only likes 30 minute cat naps during the day). This was my view for the second part of the run – my own cheering section =)
Thursday’s Workout: 3 mi at half-marathon GP and 2 mi at 10k GP (with a 2 min rest in between). Note: These are my goal paces – these are certainly NOT the pace that I can currently run a half marathon OR 10k.
- Mile 1: Warm-up (8:47 pace)
- Mile 2: 7:05
- Mile 3: 7:00
- Mile 4: 6:55
- Mile 5: 6:40
- Mile 6: 6:28
After a couple of brutal summers in Iraq and Texas (think blowdryer hot), I learned to deal with super high temperatures. My first winter back in NYC was a HUGE wake-up call for me. I avoided the cold weather at all costs – and when I had to run – my hatred for the cold was only further deepened because I was always freezing.
Fast forward a few years and I now am pretty okay with running most days in the cold. Don’t get me wrong. Give me the choice of freezing cold or heat and humidity and I’ll happily choose the heat any day of the week. But I don’t hate the cold as much as I used to. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about cold weather running:
- Go early: If I sit inside for even a few hours, I am much more likely to opt for the treadmill. I do best when I get up and go – with little to no time to dwell on the fact that I’ll be out running in freezing temps.
- It’s all about layering: Two weekends ago I ran 14 miles in temperatures that felt like 15-20 degrees. I had three layers of clothes on my upper body:
- Bottom layer: base layer – something fitted (usually short sleeved) – that will keep my core warm.
- Middle layer: slightly thicker long-sleeved shirt (The Saucony DryLete SportTop is my favorite)
- Outer layer: light jacket or thicker/heavier long-sleeved shirt. This can also be a wind resistant vest if it’s going to be a windy day. Look for something that fits higher on your neck for warmth.
Opt for lighter, comfortable, and breathable clothing as opposed to something bulky and constricting. I also love zippered or half-zippered clothing (on the outer layers) because it gives me the option of unzipping if I get warm during the run.
- Expect to be chilly until you warm up: Your body will generate a lot of body heat and keep you warm once it has been given the chance to warm up (usually 10-15 min into the run). Dress for that as opposed to how you feel when you first walk out the door. If you overdress, you’ll end up sweating and will be freezing shortly into the run. I expect to feel a bit chilly during my first mile.
- Protect your extremities: These are the areas where heat tends to leave your body. Protect these and you’ll be amazed at how much warmer you will feel.
- Hands: My fingers have poor circulation and it wasn’t until I tried mittens that I was able to finish a run without feeling as though my fingers would fall off from the cold. (For temperatures above 32 degrees, I wear my Saucony gloves). You may need to try a few different gloves/mittens before you find the ones that work best for you. The mittens I wear are not running mittens – but they do the trick!!
- Head: For years I would only wear a light headband to cover my ears. My ears were warm but my entire head was freezing. I recently began wearing a hat and I feel exponentially warmer.
- Feet: If you feel as though your feet are cold in the chilly temps, wear thicker/warmer socks. I have a pair of hiking socks that I wear when it’s really cold out (15 and below).
- Be ready to go: Lay out your clothes, gear, have the coffee ready. Don’t let anything stop you from getting out the door!
- Start low: Don’t make your first run in the cold be a 20 miler. Just like the heat, it’s a good idea to acclimatize yourself AND get comfortable wearing more layers / gear. Start with an easy low mileage day and build from there.
Do you run in the cold?
What’s a cold weather running essential for you?