Tuesday, January 27, 2009

10K & Keeping Warm in the Winter

I ran 10 kilometers last night. I prepared in advance. Rather than going home first, and perhaps be lured into the convenience of staying in my warm home, I left my office, and went straight to the gym. It paid off. I ran a 10k in Fartlek mode (meaning running, walking, sprinting, hills, etc). 59:05 was the final training result. Obviously, I need to build on this.

Meantime, I have been thinking about running outdoors. For some reason, I've been chicken this winter more than most, as I've been opting for the treadmill every time. Runner's World posted a very good article on tips for staying warm. I could be obnoxious, by copying and pasting the entire article, or completely selfless by giving you the link. Instead, I am going to just give you the skinny on how to stay warm while running outdoors in the winter. So, here goes:


1. Get Motivated
Find a running partner to run with. Group runs can be popular in the winter. Even if you are running solo, convince yourself that you can go back inside your home after five minutes if the weather is really bad, because chances are that you won't once you are out there. A night run during a light snowfall is one of the most peaceful things you can experience.

2. Arm Your Feet
Keep warmth in and slush out. Run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. Gore-Tex uppers are optimal. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm.

3. Get Dressed
Dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer. You should be slightly cool when you start.
Here is the guidelines for what to wear:

30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a
vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).

10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your
base layer, and wind pants over the tights.

0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for
the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.

Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of
mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.

Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of
mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, just stay inside.

4. Be Seen
Wear reflective, flourescent gear. Use a headlamp so that people can see you.

5. Warm up Prerun
Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too.

6. Deal With The Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn't blast you after you've broken a sweat. You can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes and turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes and repeating.
Use BodyGlide on your nose and cheeks to prevent frostbite.

7. Forget Speed
Don't worry about times. Also, if you can't run in the middle of the day when the temperatures are warmest, run twice a day because it is better to do that than doing one long 6 mile run where you might get very cold towards the end.

8. Change Quickly Postrun
Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. Change your clothes - head to toe - as soon as you can. Put a dry hat on wet hair. Drink something hot. Bring a thermos of green tea or hot chocolate in your car.

9. Deal with Rain.
Slip your stocking feet into plastic baggies then put on your running shoes. The baggies will keep your feet dry even when you run through puddles. If you have to dry shoes overnight, crumple up newspaper and cram it tightly into your shoes, with the insoles removed.

10. Go Someplace Warm
Travel someplace warm to do your races. This is easier said then done especially when you consider the airfares. Plus, I am on a budget!!!

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