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This is not a fitness blog: but baby, it's cold outside & I'm still running [Dec. 9th, 2013|06:22 am]
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Running in the summer sucks. Running in the winter is great.

A lot of people stop running in the winter which to a large extent baffles me -- especially when they've slogged through 80 degree days. Cold weather running is your reward! Trust me, you'll be more comfortable in the winter if you just dress properly.

The big downer of dressing appropriately is that you're a lot warmer after you get started so, both in summer and winter, you need to plan for how you're going to feel on the majority of your outing rather than how you feel when you walk out the door. This is a particular bummer in the winter when it may be twenty degrees out.

I've been trying to come up with some sort of formula for staying comfortable, no doubt someone's already given it a go, but my hypothesis is "1 layer for every 15 degrees below 60" -- you should also have a full zip something or other, light jacket, or heavier hoodie because you're coldest when you first leave the house and for the first mile, so you want something you can easily take off while you're running. When temperatures get down near freezing, it should be a full-zip hoodie, so you can cover your head & ears. Hoodies are better than hats because you have more variation in controlling your warmth with them. A Good running hoodie will zip up tight around your head and the zipper will stop just below your nose, this gives you a lot of variation in temperature control with the zipper.

If it's windy, raining or snowing, one of your outer layers should be weather resistant.

If you have the option, it's wonderful to have a place a couple miles from home where you can stash extra layers.

Today it was 28 degrees and snowing. I was wearing a compression base layer, an over layer and a weather resistant Sugoi top that keeps the snow from coming through while, allegedly, still letting my sweat escape. Along with that was a micro fiber hoodie that I alternately put on and tied around my waist depending on how I felt. Ultimately I was slightly warm in the three layers. This may seem a little odd considering my beard and eyebrows froze and my hat developed icicles.

But it's true. Get your shoes, go out for a run.








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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lyonesse
2013-12-09 06:57 pm (UTC)

any advice?

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my personal winter-running problem is that i get coughing fits when i breathe too much cold air :( any gear advice for the lungs?
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-12-09 07:02 pm (UTC)

Re: any advice?

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there are lots of cold weather face masks. I've not used any of them. If it's really cold i'll zip my hoodie up over my mouth. it does, oddly, suck to inhale a snowflake.

be careful of getting condensation on your face (especially your lips) and letting it freeze. so if you take your face mask off, be sure to wipe the moisture off of your face to avoid chapping.
[User Picture]From: lyonesse
2013-12-09 07:03 pm (UTC)

Re: any advice?

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thanks, i shall look into that.
[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2013-12-10 12:03 am (UTC)

Re: any advice?

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If you're in slightly warmer cold weather (I'm in East Tennessee, but not in the Smokies), these are also good:
http://www.rei.com/search?query=buff

You can rotate them around if they get damp or boogery.
[User Picture]From: small_chicken
2013-12-09 08:21 pm (UTC)

Re: any advice?

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I have a prescription for an inhaler. If your coughing fits are mild, it may be merely a matter of acclimatization and you might only need it for a few days.
[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2013-12-09 10:34 pm (UTC)

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I'm not a runner because of my arthritic knees, but I love to walk and totally agree, walking in clean snow is a wonderful way to get and keep healthy
[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2013-12-10 12:01 am (UTC)

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I'm a big fan of wool buffs - those knit tube thingies Survivor made all cool. I wear two - one on my head that can be a hat/headband/earwarmer, and one around my neck that can pull up over my nose and mouth.

My problem exercising in cold weather is not keeping my body warm - my messed up personal thermostat does that just fine, thank you - but in not having a cold-air-triggered asthma attack. A buff around my face helps this big time. They're easy to breathe through, so I don't stress my lungs that way, and they keep a warm layer close to my face that heats up the cold air just enough as I breathe it in that I don't end up wheezing.

Snow mostly precludes exercise walking here because there are no sidewalks and I have to drive to wear it is safe to walk and nobody around here knows how to drive in snow.
[User Picture]From: eliaele
2013-12-10 06:00 am (UTC)

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Love your hat
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-12-11 05:50 pm (UTC)

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me too! i think i got it at a truck stop in minnesota. in fact, i'm pretty sure thats where i got it. there were rollergirls there.
[User Picture]From: starcruzer
2013-12-14 11:44 pm (UTC)

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I like your layer equation. When shoveling snow I usually start with 4 layers and peel pretty rapidly as I work up a sweat.