I run all year round, rain, snow, wind, sun. I'm not bragging, it's just what I do. I'd be lying if I said that on mornings like today when I woke up and it was 12 degrees, that a run was super appealing. For me, the absolute worst part about running in freezing temperatures is not the run itself - not at all - but the mental fortitude it takes to get out the damn door.
Last week I'm embarrassed to say that I procrastinated for so long going on my run that I could have gone and come back at least three times. I don't want to do that again. It is torture. Then I remembered a wonderful bit of advice that either I made up (not likely) or I read somewhere.
Get going before your brain knows what you are doing.
That is the absolute truth. If you give it too much thought, you will surely talk yourself out of a run or postpone it and agonize over it, thereby driving yourself fucking crazy.
I am not afraid to say fuck, btw. Sometimes it feels good.
Anyway, plain and simple - if you want to run outside in freezing weather, here are my tips:
- Have the right gear at your fingertips. The longer you have to try to figure out what to wear, the more likely it is you might forfeit the run all together.
- Bring lots of Fireball in a flask that you stuff in your tights.
- Trust that you will warm up by the second mile. Just trust, dammit.
- For God's sake if you don't feel like running, like not one molecule of your being feels like running, simply do it for the aftermath. You'll feel good all day.
- Sign up for a spring race so you have a shit load of pressure on you to get out there.
- Go with a friend so you are accountable and have someone to commiserate with.
People always comment on how I run with bare legs in the cold. I do run in tights, like today, but usually only when it's under 20 degrees. Quite simply, I don't like the constriction of tights and avoid them if I can. My legs honestly don't get cold (fun fact: the areas of your body with the most fat get the most cold - like the ass. That's because fat is inactive and doesn't generate heat!! Who knew?). The body parts for me that get the coldest are face, assicle, arms (at the beginning of a run) penis (<hah! just trying to see if you're paying attention) and hands.
Oh, and one more tip. If you don't want your water to freeze when you run, put anti-freeze in it. Just kidding. DO NOT do that. Instead, start with warm water or add a bit of electrolyte mix to it. To keep bars/gels from freezing keep them close to your body (or go all prison-like and hide them in some cavity - gross).
Here is the weather for the next couple of days.
Let's see if I can follow my own advice and go out tomorrow morning when it is snowing and hardly zero degrees. I'll let you know.
Do you run through the winter? Why or why not? Yes, because I hate the treadmill and love being outside. If it's icy, then I might sleep.
What body part gets the coldest when you run?
Best cold weather running gear? These Eddie Bauer tights and these Athleta gloves.