Thursday, November 7, 2013

Running in the winter

This morning, I got out of bed at around 6:15. I had plans to go shopping with my mom after the boys went to school, so I decided that I had plenty of time to get in a three-mile run on the treadmill before the kids had to get ready.

There was no time to browse around on Hulu or Netflix for a show to watch while I ran. I just hurriedly scrolled down through the shows. I saw The Amazing Race, and my sister has mentioned it a few times to me (she really likes it), so I clicked on that. I really didn't know anything about the show, but my run was only going to last less than 30 minutes.

I set the treadmill at an 8:50ish pace (I can't really remember). I felt MUCH better than I did a couple of days ago, but that could be because I was on the treadmill instead of outside. The treadmill feels easier than outdoor running. I'm going to run outside tomorrow, and hopefully feel good! I need a run that leaves me feeling really good before the half-marathon on Sunday.

After my run, and getting the kids off to school, my mom and I went to JoAnn Fabrics, Sears, and Costco in Toledo. I bought winter coats for the kids at Sears. And I was super excited to go to Costco! I'd never been to Costco before; I've had a Sam's Club membership for years. But my mom just got a membership to Costco recently, so I wanted to go check it out.

When we first walked in, it reminded me a lot of Sam's Club, but on a smaller scale. I took my time going around the whole store. I wasn't very impressed, mainly because their prices are a lot higher than at Sam's (particularly the meat). They didn't have as many options, either. On the plus side, they had some items that Sam's doesn't have. I'm glad I went to check it out, but I am going to stick with my Sam's membership.


I've gotten quite a few e-mails recently asking me about running in the winter: Do I run when it's cold? What do I wear to run in the cold? etc. I'm surprised I haven't really written much about this already (or maybe I have, who knows?!).

I actually really love running in the winter. I would choose snow over sun and heat any day!


What I wear:
For bottoms, it's no secret that I LOVE my Under Armour Cold Gear compression fit tights. I can wear just those (no second layer) until the temps are in the teens. If they get below that, then I wear the tights with another looser layer on top.

On top, I wear a sports bra, and a tech shirt (either long-sleeved or short-sleeved, depending on the temp outside). On top of that, I'll wear either a second tech shirt (long-sleeved) or, if it's really cold, a fleece jacket on top. When the temp gets in the teens, I'll even wear three layers: two long-sleeved tech shirts and a fleece jacket.

I wear my usual socks and shoes; in the super cold temps, I might wear two pairs of socks. I also wear an ear warmer headband, and gloves. When the temp has been ridiculously cold, I've even worn big fuzzy mittens ;) 

Put together, this is a typical cold day outfit:


That day (Christmas 2012), it wasn't very cold. I wore my Under Armour Cold Gear tights, a short sleeved tech shirt, and a jacket on top. Headband and gloves. (While it looks like I'm wearing boots, those are actually my black shoes and white socks, because I'm fashionable like that).

The coldest temp I think I've ever run in was in the single digits. When it gets that cold, the biggest concern is my face, because it's uncovered. I bought a balaclava for that purpose, but it was terrible trying to run with that over my mouth! I couldn't breathe.


On the day this picture was taken, it was 10 degrees. I wore two layers of running tights, two long-sleeved tech shirts, a fleece pullover, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks, and the balaclava.

A reader gave me a tip one time to put a thin layer of Vaseline on my cheeks, because it would keep me warm and protect my face from the wind. I tried it (with Aquaphor, which is similar to Vaseline, and I already use it for anti-chafing), and it worked really well!

When there is snow or ice covering the road, slipping can be a concern. I did a review for Icespikes a couple of years ago, and I still really like them. They are basically little screws (with a sharper head on them) that you screw into your shoes (I used an older pair of shoes, since I wouldn't be using them very often). The screws grip the ice or compacted snow, and they don't add any bulk to your shoes at all. (Here is a link to my review, which is more in-depth).

If your schedule is flexible and allows you to run during the day, you may want to start running in the afternoons. The sun is usually out, and it's a little warmer than it is in the mornings. (Also, it stays dark for so long in the mornings, and I don't like running in the dark). I usually run in the late morning/early afternoon all winter.

My very favorite part of running in the winter? Taking a super hot shower when I get home! I actually imagine that while I'm running; I think about how good it will feel to take a hot shower, and then dress in some super comfy clothes, and drink a mug of hot tea. Oh, and let's not forget the electric blanket, and at least one cat on my lap ;)


22 comments:

  1. Do you have any issues with breathing in the winter? This will be my first winter running and the few runs I've done outside (I love the treadmill), I have a lot more trouble breathing than I did in the spring/summer. Does it just take getting used to?

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    1. Personally, I don't find any issues with breathing in winter; but I know it's a common complaint! Jerry dealt with it, and said it got better after he ran a few times outside. Here is an article I just looked up on it: http://www.fitsugar.com/Winter-Running-Burning-Lungs-6274963
      Maybe that will help!

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  2. I can't believe you didn't like Costco. They are known for high quality items so that is why the price point is higher. They are also very generous to their employees and communities/charities. I think that it is so important to support businesses like that. Walmart owns Sam's Club...enough said. I just don't want your readers to get a bad impression of a really great company.

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    1. Oh, it's not that I disliked it! I've just heard such great things about Costco, and I guess my expectations were too high :) The people that worked there were very pleasant, and I didn't have any reason NOT to like it. Just in my comparison of Costco vs. Sam's, I personally prefer Sam's.

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  3. I agree. My brother is autistic and mildly retarded, and he has worked at Costco for over 15 years. They take good care of him and he happy with his job. They take very good care of their employees.

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  4. I feel like my lungs are burning when I run in the cold. Is there something I can do to avoid the burning feeling? Will it go away as my body adapts to running in the cold or is it something I'll just get used to?

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    1. I don't remember if this happened to me or not, but I know that Jerry used to complain about it. He hated running outside in the cold because his lungs hurt, but after several runs, he said it got better and it doesn't happen anymore. I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind it! Here is a short article I found on it: http://www.fitsugar.com/Winter-Running-Burning-Lungs-6274963

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  5. That is interesting about Costco ... I haven't been in there but everyone seems to rave about it. I don't like the idea of more costly :( Also, I might need to try that idea with Aquaphor this winter. I'm starting Full training soon and I'm curious about that idea! (I'm behind in catching up on blogs, but wanted to tell you - many congrats on Chicago!)

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  6. I suggest trying a buff. I'm with you on the Balaclava. It's hard to breathe with those. The buff is loose enough that you can run with it on your face and stays up above your nose. I did a review on my blog if interested. Now I won't run without one when it's really cold out.

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  7. As a new runner approaching winter in New England, I appreciated this post!

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  8. This will be my first winter running so these are good to be reading right about now. I'd never heard of those spikes before so I'll have to check those out!

    I don't have a Costco near me (don't think they have any in RI), nor is there a Sam's Club - so I'm left with my BJ's membership! LOL I love BJ's though. So easy to spend a small fortune though, even with great prices.

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  9. I live in Macomb, MI and the Costco is WAY nicer than Sam's Club. There is a better selection of healthy products and they are a higher quality.

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  10. You have the best of both worlds, your membership at Sam's and your mom's membership at Costco! :-)

    I started running in January....my first training runs being done in temps in the teens. I LOVE cold weather running!

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  11. I never comment, but I wanted to mention Costco's treatment of employees like a couple other people have! Costco is slightly more expensive than Sam's Club (although the fact that its smaller around you is surprising!) because they are much more socially responsible than Walmart (who owns Sam's Club). Costco pays workers an actual living wage, and offers benefits to almost all their workers, while Sam's Club cuts people to hours just under full time so they don't need to provide health insurance. I just wanted to share this in case you didn't know.

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  12. Just wondering about your weigh in this week? I often look forward to seeing how you did.

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    1. Ugh, it wasn't a good one. I actually didn't weigh myself on Wednesday, because I was dreading it after all the Halloween candy I ate! But yesterday, I was 141. Not great, but I was honestly expecting worse!

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  13. I'm a little anxious about cold-weather running this year - for the most part I've only run on the treadmill if it's below freezing. (I know, I'm a wuss, I accept that). Where do you get most of your cold-weather gear? Running stores? On-line? Garage sales? Just curious!

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    1. I never see my beloved Under Armour at thrift stores or garage sales, unfortunately, or I would buy it there! But I get my "good" stuff at Dunham's, and the stuff that I am not picky about (sports bras, tech tanks, jackets, etc) at Wal-Mart or Target, usually.

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  14. You don't LOVE costco? We belong to Sam's Club because there is one near us, but they don't carry high quality food in my opinion. I wish we had a costco near us. They just sell better things. Sams club is the walmart of the big clubs in my opinion, costco is like target. I really like BJs too. It makes me super sad that costco and bjs are not near us and I am forced to shop at Sams club. You should give costco another chance...it might be a bit more expensive, but the quality is overwhelmingly better for EVERYTHING.

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  15. I've run at -20 F when I lived in Alaska. Pretty cold, I probably wore less layers then than I do now because I was used to it. I use Ice Joggers that you slip on over your shoes. They have the spikes built in so you can switch them between shoes.

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  16. I have a pair of Underarmour cold gear tights but mine must be different than yours because I can't wear these until the temp is in the teens or I will be too warm. I don't have to put another pair on over them until it's low single digits or below 0 windchill.
    I also think about that super hot shower that I will be taking after my run! I have a towel warmer and I put the towels in it before I leave so I can turn it on as soon as I get back in the house so they are really warm when I am done. When I go to my Thursday night running group I will even put my jammies in the warmer too!

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  17. I used to work for Sam's and never had an issue with salary or treatment. I don't belong to any clubs because I know myself and I just couldn't be a responsible enough shopper and ONLY buy what I need! I would come home with crap on practically a daily basis!

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