Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter running and me

I just started reading a blog called Shut Up & Run – she’s got a good perspective on running in general, and hasn’t been running for so long that she feels out of reach for me in terms of being way too experienced or what have you. Clearly she’s in a much different, more competitive category of running than I’m in or than I want to be in but that’s OK. I still enjoy the blog.

Recently she wrote about running in cold weather, and I liked reading about someone else who is maybe just a bit crazy.

I like running early in the morning, in the dark. There’s something about the dark that helps with the head-clearing part of running. Maybe it’s because I have less visual distraction?  I'm not sure, all I know is that if I've gotten a late start and it's getting light I don't enjoy my run as much.

And I really like it when it’s cold – the ideal temperature range for me is the low 30s, little to no breeze and of course no snow or ice on the ground. I’m not at all interested in slipping and breaking any of my precious bones. I generally won’t run if the temperature is below 20°F because it’s hard on my lungs. I’ve been very disciplined about getting my lungs in good shape so I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize that. That’s not to say I haven’t run in lower temps but it’s been almost by accident (didn’t realize it was quite that cold).

I have some good winter running gear that helps a lot.
  • Three pairs of running tights (two long pairs, one capri pair)
  • Two long sleeve running shirts (one is the most obnoxious yellow you can imagine)
  • Three running jackets ranging from lightweight to fairly heavy (I’ve had the lightweight one since 2007 and it even survived restoration after our first flood).
  • Three pairs of running gloves – again ranging from very lightweight to quite heavy
  • A beanie hat and a head band to cover my ears. If it’s really cold or – worse – windy, I wear the head band over the hat.
  • Two very reflective arm bands I use with the lightweight jacket (sadly, it’s black and the reflective bits have lost a lot of their reflectivity over the years).
I also take tissue out with me. My nose runs like crazy when I run in the winter so I’ve learned how to blow my nose while still running. At first I struggled because I tended to move my arms across my body when I ran. Learning to blow my nose while running basically eliminated that cross body movement – it’s kind of funny that I improved my running form because of my snotty nose!

No comments: