If you didn’t already know, I’m a complete psychopath when it comes to running. Absolutely nuts. I’m pretty positive I’ve run at every single hour of the day at least once, I’ll run in 90 degree weather (not so much anyone), I’ll run in 0 degree weather. I’ll run in thunderstorms and on five inches of packed snow. The things I will do to run are probably not much different than the things an addict will do to get a fix. (Crossing the line? Probably. Do I care? Not if it gets in the way of my run).
Yes, I’m a running addict but I have trouble getting out the door sometimes – especially in the winter. Sub-freezing temperatures and precipitation don’t make my heart flutter but the anxiety I feel when I don’t run makes it beat pretty hard. I have to use some tactics to get myself out the door on these days (they are increasingly adding up more and more with this awful Pittsburgh weather).
1) Challenge Yourself
I don’t mean run faster than you normally will – I mean do some sort of challenge, i.e. Runner’s World Run Streak (#RWRunStreak). The #RWRunStreak challenge is that you will run at least one mile everyday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Getting bundled-up takes too much effort to only run one mile (and the one time I only did one mile I wanted to do more because I was having fun but I just didn’t have time) so I’ve been running about my normal distance. Without the guilt of failing myself there are plenty of days I would have forgone my run.
2) Get the Right Gear
Spend the money on one or two good cold-weather running outfits. I’m a big fan of Lululemon’s Runder Unders (RIP). I originally bought them for a trip to Colorado last December in which I knew hiking and outdoors activities would be involved but then basically lived in them until it finally thawed out in late April this year. As I said, Runder Unders are retired, but I bought the Brushed Speed Tight. Any tight that is brushed (fleece interior) is perfect.
I forget what my nice Lululemon running jacket from last year is called, but this Uba Hoodie is similar. Mine has a detachable hood (I zip it up over my mouth and wear the hood if it’s below 20 or so and if it’s really windy) is water-proof and wind-resistant. You want at least water-proof and wind-resistrant in a good jacket.
On top of that, get good running gloves and ear warmers. I didn’t love my running gloves I’ve been using the past two years so this year I upgraded to Nike Women’s Thermal Tech Printed Run Gloves. My hands sometimes are still a little cold but they don’t overheat – which is the only time in life I would rather be cold than hot. Nothing worse than sweaty wet hands when running. I use some super old Nike ear warmers from high school or college probably (probably college – in high school all of our cold-weather gear had to be all black). They’re not the cutest but they work. I’m in the market for new ones if you know of any. Just be sure they are fleece-lined.
I don’t like Under Armor. It rides up and is super annoying to pull down. I layer with a random Nike pull-overs usually.
3) Get a Good Playlist
The browse feature on Spotify is my new favorite thing… I find so many playlists. I have a “Long Runs” playlist which I think is pretty awesome.
4) Have Something Warm to Look Forward To
I usually run in the mornings so I always look forward to breakfast. Stupidly most weekdays I drink a green smoothie (cold) or lately, overnight oats (also cold). I typically do my long runs (8 miles or more… I’d say the average is 10-12 miles, depending on weather, my mood and upcoming races) on Sunday so I will make a hot breakfast afterwards. If I do 10 or more I have my one (typically one) latte of the week. I pack a little baby almond milk for the coffee shop to make me an almond milk latte. (I have a dream one day I will walk into a coffee shop and they will have unsweetened almond milk. So much to ask for? I think not.)
5) Sign-up for a Race
Fun fact: I kind of dropped off the running scene in late 2011-late 2012 after a crappy race and just changing priorities. I went from logging 20 miles a week to maybe 12. It was weird. My legs were really skinny since I wasn’t running much. Then I was peer-pressured into running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon again (my great comeback to racing) and I had to start training in early February. So I had to get out no matter how cold and crappy it was out.
Chat with me:
Do you have any questions about running in the cold (or running in general)? Let me know!