Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold Weather Running Tips

If the weatherman's forcast is accurate, Charlotte will have one of its coldest nights ever recorded.  Not to be out done, the following day will not even reach the freezing mark.

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   


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