What I Wore: Cold Weather Running

>> Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ada and I bundled up early this morning to head to our polling place about a half mile away from home. It was only 27 degrees, so we wore sweaters, knee socks, and then I strapped Ada into the Beco carrier and silly snuggly Peekaru vest.

The walk was chilly, but well worth the purpose.

Did you vote yet today? Or did you take advantage or early voting? I keep seeing photos of people waiting in very, VERY long lines. Kudos to you! We got right in and cast our paper ballot (it was my first time not using a super old fashioned machine). Should be interesting to watch the results this evening.

And by "interesting" I mean nauseating because I have absolutely no idea how the country can be so 50/50 split. Really?!


The chilly temps this weekend had me thinking of writing another cold weather running post, specifically related to dressing to stay comfortable. So, I thought I'd take a before/after photo from my long run on Sunday.

Temperature: 39 degrees
Precipitation: Spitting rain/snow and windy!
Distance & Duration: 8 miles in a bit over an hour

When it comes to winter weather, I don't always stick with athletic gear specifically. Here's a list of what I'm wearing from the bottom up. See if you can spot the not.

  • Nike Free Run + 3 w/o socks (I never run with socks unless it's like below 10 degrees F.)
  • Under Armour Cold Gear tights (I've had these for 9 years!)
  • Lululemon tank and jacket. (I can't find either one on their website because they are super old from the days when I worked full time and could afford such luxuries.)
  • Puffer Vest is from Gap. (OK. That's the not. I don't know why I started wearing this vest to run in, but it's lightweight, warm, and if it gets too warm, it folds into a little pocket pouch.)
About a mile into my run, I rolled up my tights to mid-calf. Another mile, I stopped to stretch and rolled up my sleeves. Depending on the wind direction, I had the hood on/off and the vest/hoodie neck zipped up/down.

This time of year is tough because 40 degrees FEELS really cold when you get outside. But once you get your body moving, it isn't so bad. At the Runner's World Half Marathon, for example, starting temperature was in the mid 40s, but I ran with a sleeveless shirt the whole time.

And I kept dumping water over my head at aid stations!

It was perfect (not so much with the glasses, but I'm working on getting my contacts to feel good again). Or. I guess what I'm saying is that what you wear as the temps plummet is highly individual, but also contingent on some factors.

  • Distance or duration of the run. I can deal with over-dressing if it's short, but longer runs require more layers and options.
  • Effort expended. A race tends to get you feeling warmer than normal, no?
  • Weather variables. 40 degrees with rain and wind is way different than 40 degrees with sunny skies. 
In all, it's good to dress in layers -- which I will write more about in my next post on this topic -- and plan to loop by your house to adjust above a mile in, if possible. Keeping pace on the pavement versus treadmill will keep you in better shape for spring races.

If you'd like to learn more about dressing for success and training in the cold months, check out these other posts!

Run Outdoors This Winter!
How to Train in the Cold Months
How to Suit Up to Set Out
Seasonal De-Motivation

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