Frozen Solid

This morning, I did something that I thought I would never do — I went running in 6 degree weather.

My half marathon running plan has been going really well so far, and I’m up to a long run of 5 miles. That may not seem like a lot to seasoned runners, and it really isn’t for me either, but in 6 degree weather, just getting out of bed is a challenge. I knew that I had 5 miles on tap for today, and I knew it was going to be cold. I thought about maybe going out at noon to take advantage of the sun, but I ended up going out at 10:00 instead. The thing about New England is that the weather changes in the blink of an eye. This winter has been really interesting. Normally, I’d be more worried about black ice and snowy sidewalks right now than bitter cold temps.

So as Bernie got to sleep in, I suited up for 5 miles. I was properly dressed, but the shock of 6 degrees still catches you off guard once you walk outside. I usually don’t mind the cold, but with the windchill today, it felt like -13 degrees! Overall, it was a good 5 miles. I maintained a pace of about 9min miles, which is pretty good when your legs feel like frozen blocks. I should probably invest in some pants I can use as a double layer outside of my Under Armour winter tights. At one point I looked down at my garmin and saw that I had only run 3 miles. Seriously?! 2 more to go?!

The best part of running those 5 miles? The strawberry and walnut pancakes that I got at Eagle’s Deli afterward…hmmmmm yeah :)

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Here are some good tips from runner’s world for staying warm while running in the cold weather. Here are my tips for dealing with cold weather running:

  1. Layer, layer, layer! I was always told to dress 10 degrees warmer than it really is outside to compensate for your body warming up as you run. The bottom layers should be tight to the body and moisture wicking.
  2. Listen to your mom, wear your hats and gloves. Gloves save my life when running, and so do hats. Hats and ear warmers work best when they are made specifically for running. They allow the moisture to escape, keeping your head warmer and dryer. Gloves can be whatever — the $2 cotton ones from the pharmacy work fine in crisper weather. Hard core ones are best for colder days.
  3. Heat up your shoes before you head out. Ladies, break out those hair dryers and use them to heat up your shoes. It makes your feet warmer at the start, which helps you avoid the sting of cold feet when they pound on the pavement.
  4. Warm up before you go out. Do jumping jacks, run up and down some stairs, do some errands around the house. The cold won’t feel so cold if you’re already warm. Plus — warm muscles are less likely to get injured.
  5. Go slow. Don’t try speed work in the cold. It won’t help your muscles or your lungs.

 

Readers: How do you deal with cold weather running? What is the coldest weather you’ve ever run in? How badly are you New Englanders missing summer right now?

3 comments

  1. Steve says:

    I wish I could run (well, I can, and I’m actually decent at it), but I’m so lazy! What I want to know is why so many runners, women especially it seems, refuse to dress warmly enough during cold weather runs. I know you’ll get heated from the exercise, but c’mon, use layers! I remember during college seeing girls running by my dorm/apartment and being shocked at what they were wearing. Run on a treadmill, if you have to, even if you prefer the benefits of the outdoors.

    • blondebostonian says:

      I think it’s a personal preference. I get really warm while running (I’ve always been like that, with every sport I’ve ever played) so I tend to dress like it’s about 20 degrees warmer than it really is, otherwise I will sweat within the first mile and be miserable the whole time. I think some girls don’t know that there are some cute and functional running gear out there – you don’t have to wear huge sweats, nor should you!

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