Since I've been back on my running schedule, I've had a few days of really cold (& windy) weather to run in. This is my first time running year-round so I was eager to get out & experience the coolness. However, I soon discovered that I may not have been as well prepared for the elements as I thought I was. Brrrrh!
So I decided to reach out to some seasoned runners to get their input on cold-weather runs. Todd Myers, from Tales of a Vegan Runner blogspot, was kind enough to give me his suggestions that I'll be sharing with you today. Btw, he just ran the NYC Marathon. Go Todd!!
How long have you been running?
I have been running off and on for about 5 years now, had to take a few breaks here and there due to injury/illness so not consistent.
What got you into running?
I got into running because at the time I was in very poor physical shape and health, definitely a candidate for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and god knows what else. Then I fell in love with it as I got better.
What kept you motivated to run in cold weather when you first began?
As far as keeping me motivated, it is really not wanting to loose that cardiovascular conditioning over the winter months. Even if this included using the treadmill, stationary bike, pool, elliptical or other cardio equipment inside. As I was up in PA/NJ for several years it got brutally cold outside, so staying inside was the best option really.
What are the best ways to dress for running in temps under 50 degrees?
Under 50 degree temps I recommend tights for the legs and long sleeved tech shirts, or if you have arm warmers then you can use short sleeve or sleeveless tech shirts. Also a beenie hat is good to have, as it will keep more heat in your body, and you can always remove it if you get really warm, and same thing with arm warmers you can push them down. NEVER DISCARD THEM though especially during a race, as temps can change, wind etc.. you may need them later on. If you don't have running tights for compression, then I recommend calf/compression socks Zensah makes good calf sleeves/socks, or CEP are really good too.
What's the lowest temperature that you've ran in? Would you recommend doing that?
Lowest temp has to be around 40, which isn't so bad once your body gets moving and starts warming up. 131 ATL Marathon this year was around that temp at start time, even down to 32 isn't so horrid, but have gloves on for your hands. Yes I would recommend this as it is actually ideal temps for marathons and half marathons, once temps get over 60 outdoors your body gets really warm and uses fluids like crazy. Still you need to stay hydrated at lower temps too though.
Is there any particular gear/brand that you'd recommend?
I think I hit some of the gear earlier, as far as arm warmers asics makes some nice ones. Also it might be good to look into a camelbak, one that will strap across your chest, abdominal area as well. This will make keeping water easily available to you as needed to stay hydrated.
What would be your dream gear (if any) to have?
hmmm not sure about dream gear, maybe CEP tights, though they can be a bit pricey, maybe a sponsorship would be good. Not really gear but products like Vega Sport Performance Optimizer for pre runs, Chocolate Number 9 for sustained energy, e3live which is supposed to be good for overall cardio/recovery, also Asea iss the same as e3live but helps in other areas as well. Using Vega and Chocolate Number 9 I can recommend them, and enjoy them both. I haven't used e3live or Asea yet, as both can be a bit expensive, but if I ever get the money I'd use them. Also VitaCoco water is great for electrolites and other nutrients for hydrating before, during and after runs.
Todd, thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. This has been a help to me.
I do hope that this may help someone out there contemplating running or running in cold weather.
To health, vitality & happy running.