Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brrrr....cold weather running

Or cool weather running if you live in Texas....

Obviously this picture was not taken in Houston!  (source)

Since we've been fortunate enough to have a few cool fronts come through, I decided to send some tips to my running group regarding how to dress for running in cooler weather. I'd love your thoughts and some input on what you use as a rule of thumb, too!

Of course here in Texas, we tend to have highs in the 50's one day, then a low of 70 the next.  We get these little teasers of Fall weather and not much more.  And of course, it may be nice and cool all week, only to have an 80-degree day on Saturday when we're running our longest and toughest mileage...this was the case for last Saturday's group 12 and 21 miler.  Ugh!

So, I took a few tips that I found on the Runner's World website and added my .02 as well.  Per Runners World, you want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. And, I have always heard that you want to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer.  When running, I've always found that I warm up pretty quick and start shedding layers.  A lot of this is trial and error.  What you think is a cold morning may be perfect to someone else...there are some people who will wear shorts and a singlet regardless of the temps!  Here's what I've compiled so far:
  • 50 degrees: Usually, shorts and short sleeves are sufficient once you are warmed up. Capris and a short sleeve top might also be okay if you tend to be more cool-natured.
  • 40 degrees: A long sleeve top, or you can wear a short sleeve under a long-sleeve. You can always take off the long-sleeve shirt and tie it around your waist if you get too warm. Shorts or Capri-length tights should be sufficient. Gloves can be helpful, too! Arm warmers are also a good option that you can remove if you begin to feel too warm.
  • I love me some arm warmers, especially if they're cute like these! (source)
  • 30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (carpis 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.
There were also tips for running in temps less than 10 degrees, but I did not include those since we rarely have to worry about that here (thankfully!) 
Personally, I LOVE running in cold weather.  Maybe this is only because it doesn't get cold here very often, which makes it more of a treat?  I dunno.  One of my favorite memories was a run when it was only 19 degrees when I woke up.  I was supposed to be running with friends, but no one else wanted to brave the cold temps. (wimps!)
Now you Northerners may scoff at us thinking 19 degrees was cold, but that is positively frigid here in the South, y'all!
Luckily, it warmed up pretty quickly and was closer to 26 degrees when I went out for my run.  I was running through my neighborhood and there was frost everywhere.  There were even icicles hanging from the rooftops!  (Again, a rarity here!)  When I made it to the retention pond in our neighborhood near the nature preserve, the light layer of frost on the ground looked absolutely gorgeous with the sun shining on it.  I was bummed that I hadn't brought my phone to take a picture.  It was breathtaking!  Last year, we had such a mild winter, I don't think I even had a chance to wear my long sleeve tops or long tights. Sigh. I hope it's a little cooler this year!

What do you wear when the temps get cooler?  Do you have certain attire for certain temps?


K said...

Great post, Christie! Hoping we get to use some of cold weather gear soon!!!

Anne said...

I followed those clothing rules/recommendations when I lived in New England and Alaska. Actually, once it dipped below 10 degrees, I stayed indoors.

Marv said...

Texan here too. I have read in a couple places that the rule of thumb is to dress down about 10 degrees and you warm up to that. Personally, I like to dress down a little more than that. I am a big guy and I would suppose that size might make a difference in the amount of clothes to wear to stay warm.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Good clothing tips! Running in the cooler weather sure beats the humidity!

Jared said...

Great clothing tips. Its been nice in the northeast for the winter but Im sure Ill need the tips soon.

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A Ali said...

Great clothing tips.Thanks for Sharing..

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