If any of you out there are trying to work up the courage to brave the winter wonderland for the sake of fitness – I promise you, you can do it!
If you ask Will what my normal body temperature is, he would probably tell you that he does not know how I made it through 21 winters without him to keep me warm. I am pretty sure he thinks I live in a near constant state of hypothermia… When we were dating he kept an extra jacket around at all times because he knew I would need it.
All this to say that I am the least likely person to advocate running in the cold, but here I am doing so. If I can do it, anyone can.
Last weekend I ran 8 miles in 20 degree weather and this week over lunch break I ran 3.25 miles in 8 degree weather on snow covered sidewalks (yeah my thighs are still sore from that…. It’s like running on sand). I can honestly say that I broke a sweat on that run…. Even though my runny nose was starting to freeze over.
Here is how I bundle up for these runs:
- Soccer pants/sweat pants
- Long sleeved t-shirt
- Running jacket
- Fleece gloves
- Ear muffs
Yep that’s it. The secret really is the running jacket. For the last few years I’ve tried to suck it up with a normal hoodie and/or Under Armour, but it just didn’t cut it. For one thing, The wind still got through my clothes….. I don’t think I need to expound on how much that sucks. And the other thing is that sweatshirts don’t breathe, so once my core temperature was up from running a couple of miles I felt like I was suffocating.
This year I finally broke down and decided I wanted to invest in a nice running jacket. Hubster got me the one in these pictures on a steal at Kohls right after Christmas. And let me tell you, it has made a huge difference. It’s worth the money. Mine is Fila brand. It’s not fleece so it is not all staticky. It also has thumb holes in the sleeves! I would recommend it to anyone in the market! I bought a size bigger than I need because I wanted to have some wiggle room and be able to fit a shirt underneath it.
I have Under Armour, but with the running jacket I really don’t need it. The running jacket keeps the wind off my torso so I stay warmer, and after 2 miles or so I’m actually warm enough that I need to unzip the top of the jacket and take my gloves off. But unlike a sweatshirt it breathes a little so I don’t feel too warm.
As for training for the marathon in this weather, you can see in last Saturday’s post that I typically only have one long run. So I try to figure out a way to fit my long run in on the warmest day of the week. I have figured out how to survive the cold for the short thirty minute-ish runs.