Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cold Weather Running Motivation - How to Get Out the Damn Door

Yeah, it's cold outside. So what? Stop your bitching and just remember this little rhyme:



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.

SUAR


30 comments:

  1. Wind is my biggest enemy. So if it is cold and windy, I have a huge issue getting myself out the door. And I live in Iowa where 35% of our energy comes from wind so it is windy all of the time. The math is against me. But I do run outside in the winter, just not as much.

    My toes get very cold for some weird reason. And as I get older, I have a harder time getting my hands warm.

    My favorite cold weather gear is an Eddie Bauer jacket with quilting on the front and back. And a cheap pair of non-compression UA kneehighs that for some strange reason keep my toes wark.

    My dog's favorite winter running gear is her sweater jacket. And her lined windbreaker when it is really cold...

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    1. I'd have to agree. Wind is the worst, even when it's not super cold out. But, it makes the cold almost unbearable. I love that your dog has a sweater and a windbreaker!

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    2. My face always gets chapped then looks blotchy for at least a day if I run in the cold and wind. I've found that putting a little bit of vaseline on my cheeks pre-run helps tremendously.

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  2. I run in Alaska so cold is the norm seven months of the year. Let me caveat and say I totally wussed out yesterday at -10 with windchill to -25, but usually I wear thick Balega socks with neoprene minimalist shoes to shield my feet and running mittens. As long as my feet, hands and ears are warm, I can power through a lot. If it's zero or below, I wear brooks tights with wind proof shell pants and a under armor cold gear top, sometimes with a light vest. 0 to 15, I don't need the shell pants and switch to a tee with a zip up pullover for venting because man, you do get hot! I wear Yaktraks but if it's really icy I don't go because there's a limit to how much they help. Sunday I did seven miles on the treadmill because it was welll below zero with high winds. My butt freezes a lot, so I've been wearing a skhoop skirt over tights and feeling better!

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  3. 100% agree on the procrastination part. On the weekends in crappy weather my house becomes spotless while I find just ONE more thing to do before getting out the door. Ugh.

    Those tights: can you comment on their warmth? EB just talks abt how flattering they are. Don't really car abt that haha

    And OMG I thought Mpls was bipolar when it comes to temps but you win. And those 50s look amazing!!

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    Replies
    1. They are warm (to me) but not fleece lined. They are probably about medium as far as how heavy they are. Not too thin, not too thick.

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  4. Balmy! 30 F! Today, my run was minus 20 C, (below 0 F) and with the windchill it was minus 32 C which is verging into minus WTF territory in F. I was dressed for the cold, but not the wind. Yes, I run through the winter. If I didn't, I'd never run. What gets coldest depends on lots of things, the exact weather conditions, where I'm running and how hard. Sometimes it's fingertips, sometimes my cheeks and nose because they are exposed to the weather and tusks, sometimes my ankles (smallest number of layers). A running room jacket, but I don't know what model it is. I'm more likely to run indoors on a track, rather than a treadmill, if it's really icy out. Or I'll call it a rest day, one of those every now and then at my age is a good thing.

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  5. Hi Suar,
    We do not have that cold temperatures in the Netherlands but I have a tip for running in the cold. Wear an extra short that is loose over your tight. The air between gets warm and will provide your ass. Further i make my sportdrinks with tea in the winter. I prefer rooibos tea and it makes your drinks less sweet too.

    Bye from Dorothé

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  6. Note to self: do not go to Florida and run in the winter. It only makes running in the frozen Chicago tundra 10x worse.

    Truthfully, I can handle the cold. It's the black ice that does me in.

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  7. So that's why my booty is always frozen, its just the fat! Good to know. I don't mind the cold if it isn't windy. By now, I can tell by the temperature how many layers I need to get out there without being bothered with chronic coldness. If it is below freezing I worry about falling on the ice though.

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  8. All of you people are so hardcore, you are tough as hell!!! I am not worthy!! I am in San Diego so it rarely gets to freezing here and it usually always warms up during the day. Of course I run all "winter" long. I just layer up. I love wearing a buff on my head, covering my ears. If my hands are cold I am miserable. My challenge is running when it is still dark in the morning, trying not to fall or get hit by a car. That's the challenge of San Diego running for me.

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  9. Running in Canada feels like I revolve between fighting the wind, cold or bugs. Not sure which is worse. My feet get cold first when it is more than -15 C and I just won't run outside. Not worth the damage to the feet. My butt is second on the list and wearing shorts over my tights does help some. I wear nike tight with wind guard or Salomon soft shell pants with colder temps and wind or lululemon tights fr -8 c and warmer. I still really struggle with not overdressing. I am scared of getting too cold and think I am wearing just enough but eyelashes freeze with icicles when I get too hot. Hard balance to find. Short days with dark mornings and evenings, the treadmill and the tv are my friend.

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  10. I never used to run outside in the winter (I don't actually mind the treadmill) but then I found a great running buddy who is CRAZY and we run in all weather (in western PA, it doesn't get THAT cold). As a matter of fact, I just moved much closer to her (for school reasons, but the running was a great incentive) and I'm looking forward to running this winter!

    I love my UA tights and wool socks (I need some better ones - suggestions?)

    I also have Reynaud's, so my fingers get the coldest, followed by my thighs (which, after reading your facts, makes sense).

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    Replies
    1. I have Reynauds too! Sucks. I love Smart Wool socks.

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  11. The weather forecast made me laugh--that's a 20 degree difference from one day to the next! I'll be honest--I hit the treadmill when the weather is less than perfect. I'm not sure why, because I'll hike under almost any conditions including rain and snow. But I'm a wimp when it comes to running outside.

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  12. I live along the foothills roughly 40 miles south of you...we have the same dang schizophrenic weather! My hands suffer the worst in the cold (poor circulation) and then my belly flub (keeping it honest here) - everything else does pretty darn well. My secret weapons are SmartWool socks, SmartWool heavy mittens (often over another pair of lighter gloves), and if it's really cold, my SmartWool double-layer beanie (but still so thin and lightweight - I love it). I used to run outside all the time in the winter but then I had my third baby late in life...and although I run outside in single digit temps, my 3 yr old is not good below 35F and sunny (plus, if you think snow and ice is hard to balance on legs alone, try it while pushing a stroller...egads). So, this winter I will have many more days on the dreadmill. Necessary for sanity but sucky for the soul.

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  13. Yes, I've always run outside all year - even when I lived in Ottawa and sometimes ran in -35C (that's -31F, in case you're wondering). HATE gyms and treadmills so I don't have any other option. The thing I love most about winter running is being able to brag about how badass I am. Also, it gets me outside when I'd otherwise curl up by the fire until June. I warm up pretty quickly usually but I have a hard time keeping my hands, neck, ears and chin warm enough for the first few kms. Also, my ass when the wind's behind me (which totally makes sense now you've told us about the fat thing). The new challenge this year is hot flashes. Still working on the right strategy for dealing with those. Thanks for encouraging folks to run through the winter. It really is spectacular once you get going.

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    1. Imagines a complicated scene where I run down wind of you, timing your hot flashs so I'm warm, in the current Calgary weather, and when the run is over somehow end up at the LaHave bakery.

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  14. I run outside all year round. I prefer fall/winter/spring running to summer running. Except for the wind. I could do without the wind.

    Sunday's half-marathon race was windy, snowy, and cold. It wasn't bad, though truth be told, I could have done without the wind and snow in my face. The course was an out and back so right up until the turn around I kept telling myself that it would get better! The wind would be at my back! No more snow pelting me in the face! Except, owing to some kind of winter weather voodoo, post turn around the wind/snow was still in my face.

    I really need better running shoes for winter. My feet were wet from about 2/3 of the way on in.

    Cut 11 minutes off my time and got a PR....maybe I should exclusively run races in the winter...

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  15. I run outside year round - California/Hawaii resident, I have no excuse. The only "weather" condition that keeps me in is when we have active wildfires too close for comfort in So Cal.

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  16. I live in Arizona, so are winters are not quite so harsh, but I still have a hard time getting out there. Depending on what time I run, the temps are either in the high 30s or low 60s, which is cold for an Arizonan. What do you suggest I wear?

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    1. For high 30s I would wear capri tights or shorts with a long sleeve shirt and maybe gloves and ear warmers.
      For low 60s I would be in shorts and short sleeves!

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  17. I run outside all winter in Nebraska. My usual minimum rule is -0-F temp and wind chill. Colder than that and I'll adjust my run days. I hate the treadmill so that is a last resort for me. I only run 3-4 days a week so I can adjust for better weather a bit. Key gear items for me are double layer mittens from Brooks (sadly they no longer make them with a mitten inside; now it is a glove), bun warmer shorts (insulated) over my tights, wool sock and a warm hat. For the most extreme cold I have an anceint pair of Nike wind pants that have a thin liner in them. I call them my nuclear pants because they are so warm. Today was the first really cold run of the winter with a real feel around 7.

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  19. I love running outside but here in Northern Utah I have to cave in and climb on the treadmill several times a week all winter..I skip the great outdoors if the actual temp is below 10 because we always have wind, if there is snow or ice I hesitate simply because I run at 5am and if I can slide so can cars, farm trucks, combines and other nefarious rural vehicles. The other thing I rely on is a dollar store bandanna to warm my breath. Good luck in your winter training...here is to the big 50 year (me too). Love the blog!!!

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  20. I run outside year round - California/Hawaii resident, I have no excuse. The only "weather" condition that keeps me in is when we have active wildfires too close for comfort in So Cal.

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