This may very well be a post about what not to do to stay warm when the mercury drops and your crazy runner friends tell you to bundle up and meet them for a five-mile run on a Saturday morning anyway. But I will share tips from runners more experienced than me.
As I write this two hours later, I am still chilled even as I sit in warm clothes and dry hair underneath a warm quilt (thanks, Mom!).
This is just the second winter I’ve (insanely) chosen to run outside. Most days, it’s fine. I know exactly what to wear, don it and head out without incident. Today was not one of those days.
I wore a Champion winter-weight, long-sleeve shirt, a thick Reebok hoodie, my awesome Skirt Sports Toasty Tights, SmartWool socks, a Buff, Brooks Ghost running shoes, Manzella Wind Stopper mittens with foot warmers (they’re smaller than hand warmers) and the Skirt Sports beanie that makes me look like a Q-Tip.
It was not enough.
My head and face were covered, so I didn’t risk frostbite. My hands were decently warm. My core was cool but not cold.
But my feet and my thighs were so cold, they hurt. Like burning kind of hurt. Not a good feeling, two miles from the relative warmth of my car. After we got back, I was shivering. I did stop at the local party store to get hot chocolate (and, ahem, a dozen donuts), but my hands were shaking and I was chilled to the bone. The hot beverage helped, but I was still freezing by the time I got home, stripped all of the wet clothes off and took the hottest shower I could stand.
I asked for tips on staying warm immediately after a run on a trail and ultra running Facebook group I belong to and got the following tips:
- Get out of the wet clothes (including a sweaty sports bra), dry off and put on warm, dry clothes. A couple of runners said there are products that cover you so you can change in the car. Must investigate.
- Eat and drink something warm (brought in a Thermos) to give your body fuel and to warm yourself from the inside.
- Use a plug-in car blanket.
- Change into dry socks and put on warm, winter boots and a warm coat.
- Turn on the seat warmers if you have them and blast the car heater.
I need to figure out a way to change out of the sweaty running clothes immediately after my run, but the idea of standing in either a portable toilet or a freezing bathroom at our local park causes me to pause. Or, I guess, I could not go out for a run when it’s so cold that my friend Janet’s eyelashes and hair froze.
What are your best freezing-temperatures-running tips? Leave them below.
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