When the weather gets this cold, I have to remind myself why I don’t complain as much about our hot southern summers.
Anyway, I thought I would share a few of my cold weather running tips.
· Under 20 degrees I switch to wearing mitten on my hands. Maybe it is just me, but I hate having my hands cold. Keeping the fingers together keeps them warm.
· Once the temp gets to 10 degrees, I will add one of those hand warmer packs from Walmart or REI. They are .74 cents for 2. They work great.
· For those really cold and windy days, I wear a hood that covers everything but my eyes. To the passer by, I look like I am heading for the ski slopes and all that I am missing is the snow. It but hey, no one wants frost bite. Right?
· Another alternative that works most of the time involves is wearing a thin coating of Vaseline on my face. Bobby A. suggested this to me a few years ago and when I tried it, it worked pretty well. I mean it isn’t the same as setting by a roaring fire sipping hot chocolate, but the Vaseline really seems to help protect against the cold and especially the wind.
· When it comes to the upper body, it is all about the running gear. I have some Gore clothing so even on single digit days; I will usually just go with a running shirt underneath and the Gore stuff on top.
· Another option is pull on your wing or rain jacket. A few more layer might be needed underneath it but if it stops the cutting through the wind, I know I am still better off.
· Usually under 30 degrees, I will go with running tights. Under 20 degrees, I have an extra heavy pair of tights. I even have some running underwear that helps provide protection against the wind. I know some of my friends will tough out these cold mornings without tights, but when it is this cold, it is really easy to pull or strain a muscle. I have always felt an ounce of prevention (tights) was better the pound (recover time) of the cure.
· As far as shoes and socks, I usually just go with my Thorlo Socks and regular running shoes. I have heard people say that their feet get cold while running but I have never experienced this issue.
· Where should I run? Well, I always suggest running some place where the wind isn’t but just in case this isn’t possible, I always run into the wind on the way out. Then, when I am tired and cold, I at least have the wind at my back so it doesn’t feel as cold on the return trip.
· Last but not least, don’t run alone. Accidents happen – twist an ankle – fall and get hurt on some ice. Having a running buddy along means someone there to help. Another option, I will take my cell phone. This gives me the option of calling for help in a dire emergency.
Whether the temperature is 105 or 5 degrees, always plan according.
Above and beyond anything be safe.
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner