Cold Weather Running

Holy fracking moly its been cold here. It was in the negatives for several days and everyone is cold and sick of the cold. Feeding horses in -20F temps is miserable. I keep thinking of the kid in “The Christmas Story” when he can’t put his arms down.
 photo huge-snow-suit.jpgIt is perfectly safe to get out there and exercise in the extreme cold. It is not going to harm your lungs or damage your body. There is a good chance you aren’t going hit any records in the extreme cold. Most people tend to do best between 36 and 52 Fahrenheit. When it is really cold out your body has to put more energy into staying warm which means less oxygen for your muscles.

I am no way opposed to running in winter. I’d rather be chilly than hot when running. But with the cold in the negatives I know that my running clothes collection does not have what I need to go out there and run safely. I’m good down to about 9F with some windchill but after that I’d need more specialized clothes than I already have.

Few things I have learned over the years are…

1. You probably need to take off a layer. It sounds wrong but you want to on the chilly side when starting your run. You will warm up.

2. Run short or for time. Cold and snowy makes for a slow run, get out and enjoy the scenery.

3. Kickboxing makes a really good substitute for running.

4. Get a grips make a big difference between no traction and some traction. I have had a pair of them for ages. I’m a on a dirt road and run on snow pack, they will help on ice, but I would walk the icy bits.

I know I am ready for some warmer weather about now, it would be nice to get back outside and enjoy it.

Weekly Groove: Cold Weather Running Tops

have two kinds of running gear hot weather and cold weather. Hot weather is easy tanks and shorts. Cold weather running clothes now I put more thought into those. Buying a a top or bottoms that don’t work for the cold are a bummer. I have several cold weather items that I don’t like and both of them have one thing in common, they are too short. It is currently snowing here as I write this post.

Which brings us to the weekly groove favorite cold weather running tops. Things that make it a good top are… Long sleeves that cover at least part of my hands, preferably with a thumb slit. The top also needs to be long and form fitting. I have a too short and not form fitting one and the cold just goes right up it and the sleeves will not pull over my hands. I only wear it when I have to or am walking. A zipper in front is nice too, so you can unzip or zip depending on how warm or chilly you feel.
 photo DSCF2015-3.jpgIt is currently snowing here as I write this post, so it feels appropriate to talk about cold weather running tops.

Morning Running Fail

This summer I decided I wanted to keep running, which means doing it in the morning.  I am not a morning person, never have been, and highly doubt I ever will be.  Mornings should be eased into with plenty of coffee, internetting, and social media.  There is no jumping out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed for me even with a full nights sleep.

This is what I keep repeating to myself as I stagger out the door.
So you may have guessed getting my butt out of bed and running first thing is a bit of a challenge for me. Morning running started out in a fasted state which ruined me for the rest of the day. It was bad.  I was cranky, tired, and awful for the rest of the day.  Now I am eating a granola bar before I head out which has helped with my moods.  I am no longer a crab for the rest of the day, still tired though.

When does all  that energy which is supposed to come from morning exercise kick in?  I sure do not have it.  I get up around the same time everyday so its not like I get up earlier to go running. Afternoon run or exercise I feel energetic afterwards, morning not so much.

As for consistency in the morning, so far that is not going to well either.  I boot the computer up and don’t do it or eat my granola bar, roll over and go back to sleep.  Afternoon or evening I am fine with. Afternoon seems to be my time for exercise in general. I am going to struggle through getting up and running two or three days a week as it is important to me and I keep hoping to find the awesome that turns a mourning run into a morning run. Yes, I have been referring to them as mourning runs. Is it autumn yet?

Tips for Beginner Runners

I started running in I want to say 2004?  I could be wrong as I am rubbish with dates and years. But I’ve been doing it for a while now and still enjoy it.  It gets me outside into the fresh air and encourages me to enjoy the beautiful place that I live in.  My first experience with running was Junior High gym class and it was not positive, in fact it sucked.  I hated it so much,  it came as a huge surprise when I found out I liked it.

My new trail runners, aren’t they pretty.
Some of the things I did not realize when I started running and was not  in shape: are that running really is an advanced exercise, base training should be thought of in years not months or weeks, and how much I would like it. There are several things I recommend to beginning runners:

1. Go to your local running store and get evaluated by them for shoes. What works for me, your friend, or someone else might not work for you.  The right shoe will make a big difference.

2. Start with a beginner running program. The Couch to 5K plan is a great way to start running.  That is the plan I used when I started running. You want to ease into it your muscles, tendons,and ligaments need time to adjust.

3. Running is long term relationship, base building, speed work, lactate threshold are built up over years.  

4. Cotton is evil!  It holds moisture which means when it is hot you are a soggy chafing mess and in winter you are a hypothermic soggy mess. I got blisters until I bought running socks. Buy running clothes with wicking fabrics.

5. Have fun and enjoy yourself.  Stop and smell the roses or enjoy the view when running, not every run has to be an intense challenge.

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