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Winter running advice...

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Winter running advice...

Post  nkrichards on Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:18 pm

I'm a fair weather runner and if I'm going to be ready for Boston that's going to have to change this winter!

We have a treadmill and although I absolutely hate it I know I'll have to use it on occasion this winter. Crying or Very sad

What I'm really interested in is how to safely run outside in the winter.

Footwear?

I think I need gators...any recommendations?

Gloves...I have very poor circulation and my fingers freeze!

How do you protect your face and/or lungs?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Mark B on Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:08 pm

There are others with a lot more experience running in cold, but here's a few things I've learned.

Generally, running in cold conditions is a lot like dressing for cross-country skiing.

Footwear: Most shoes do pretty well on snow, and nothing does very well on ice. Wearing trail shoes can give you a little more traction, and some people even drive hex nut screws into the soles of their shoes for extra grip. Wool socks are a good idea.

Clothing: Layers are important, with a base layer, insulation layer and windproof layer. You don't want to overdress, however, because  that leaves you all sweaty inside your gear, which can chill you very quickly. I don't think you'd need gaiters unless you were running through ankle-deep powder. (Which actually sounds like fun.)

Gloves: Ski gloves are too much for me (they may not be for you), but my normal thin running gloves are too little. I have a set of North Face Denali gloves that are made of a tightly woven polyproprelene that are medium weight work pretty well when it gets very cold.

Headgear: Stocking cap made of some wicking material. Make sure it covers your ears.

Neck gaiter: If it's REALLY cold, one of these can provide a lot of neck and face protection. They're usually made of polypro, as well.

That's a start anyway. I hope you get some more advice from those in the frozen north. The thing to remember is that, with the right gear, cold doesn't have to stop you. Unless it's icy, then it's best to use the treadmill.

For what it's worth, I'd rather run in sub-freezing weather than when it's 36 degrees, rainy and windy.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  KBFitz on Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:49 am

Footwear. I got a pair of winter shoes with cleats. They are closed for warmth, not breathable like normal shoes and the cleats will wear down quickly on concrete or asphalt ... so they're special purpose. They have saved my backside several times in icy conditions. Trail shoes can be worse than regular shoes on ice, so beware. Recommend you get a pair of Smartwool socks ... your feet will thank you.

Gaiters are not necessary unless you plan to break trails through snow drifts. If so, go with a full gaiter that covers up your shin to the bottom of your knee. Hwvr, if conditions require that, it would be best to run that day on your mill.

Gloves. My hands get really cold too. Light breathable running gloves work best. When temps fall into the 30s and lower, wear a larger more insulated pair of gloves or a pair of mittens over them. That will keep them toasty.

Face/lungs. Some folks wear a balaclava. It's a face/head/neck mask. Some folks smear Vaseline on their cheeks/nose/ears. I simply use a headband/cap/stocking cap/tuke as appropriate.

There's nothing like being the first to greet a freshly fallen show on a cold still morning.

Enjoy!
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:54 pm

I use these shoes when there is a little snow and lots of ice. http://icebug.com/int/

My hands are always cold so I usually wear the glove/mittens and use hand warmers if it is below 20F.  

Layers are mega important as is covering your face with a neck gaitor or balaclava (sp?) if the temps dip into the teens.  It was 29F this morning, and I only had on a hat, two layers (long sleeve shirt and 1/2 zip) along with tights and I was comfy if not a little warm at the end of my run.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Jim Lentz on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:44 am

For your hands be sure to wear something water resistant/waterproof if it is snowing or going to snow. Your hands will get cold very fast if they get wet through gloves/mittens that allow the snow to melt and get on your hands. Ask me how I know.


Last edited by Jim Lentz on Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  mul21 on Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:57 am

I had a good experiment with some of this late yesterday afternoon.  It was about 30F, a little breeze and very light snow falling with about an inch already on the ground.  I wore some trail shoes that worked perfectly, especially since it was fresh snow that hadn't been trampled on yet, tights, a thin Under Armor type shirt, a long sleeved tech shirt, gloves and a very thin stocking cap.  It was pretty much perfect, but I enjoy cold weather running as long as it's not windy.  I've worm a jacket to run probably a dozen times total because usually if it's that cold, there's some other sort of nastiness going on and I'll head inside.  I think my coldest outside run was around 8F or so.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  ounce on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:36 pm

Well, I'll say something, even though I'm not consistently <32 degrees tested. 

Feet:  I second Kevin's tip on Smartwool socks.  They're thin and you can notice that you have them on because your shins are colder than your feet.  I can't speak to shoes, nor gaiters.

Layers:  Yes, I've done 4 layers, but like Mark, the top layer is wind resistance.  But since I don't like to get too warm, my wind resistance layer is temporary and is always a trimmed, dry cleaning bag.  I keep a few in the closet and trim the length to just below the rib cage and cut out a space for arms and head.  I wore one for the whole Houston Marathon for the year it was raining at the start (when Dave-O ran the half) and very blustery after the rain.  I NEVER chilled.  Did I mention that I was cheap?

Face/neck:  My first defense is a Buff to deflect the wind, Vaseline on the nose and area under the eyes.  Buffs are a very flexible piece of cloth.  www.buffusa.com.  I have a Buff balaclava, but haven't tested it yet.  I'm follicly impaired, so something on the head and ear tips is pretty important.

That's it.  But I am commenting that Kevin's new avatar makes him look like an in-shape, younger Carlos Santana.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  nkrichards on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:39 pm

Thanks to everyone for stopping in and taking the time to pass on your advice and suggestions.

I do prefer cooler temps over warm temps when running. It was around 30 at the start of my BQ marathon and barely above freezing at the finish. But it was sunny and the road was dry. I did fine except for my hands. I have Raynaud's disease so really struggle to keep my hands and feet warm.

I need to try and get to town to get some better gloves and something to protect my neck and face. I'm in need of new shoes and socks (I'm a big fan of Smart Wool) so I'll see what advice they have about shoes with better traction. They'll also put screws in my shoes for me...I may have them put them in an older pair and see how that goes.

This is unusually cold weather...low of -8 high of 17...it's not going to last forever. Hopefully I can get to town in the next couple days and I'll be better prepared for the next cold spell.

I'm actually looking forward to running in the snow once I'm confident I have the right gear.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:06 pm

I have Raynauds as well and have found as long as I keep my core warm I don't have troubles. After a cold run I would usually start to sweat and my hands would get that splotchy white look going. Now after a run I take off any wet layers ASAP and get something dry on my core and hardly ever have the problem now.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  nkrichards on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:08 pm

@Jim Lentz wrote:I have Raynauds as well and have found as long as I keep my core warm I don't have troubles. After a cold run I would usually start to sweat and my hands would get that splotchy white look going. Now after a run I take off any wet layers ASAP and get something dry on my core and hardly ever have the problem now.

Thanks for the input Jim. It's encouraging to hear about others with this issue who have been able to continue to exercise outside. I usually do OK if I don't let my fingers and toes get cold...once I do I can't get them warmed back up. My doctor calls it "American Patriot disease"...I turn red, white and blue!

Marks suggestion to double up my gloves worked pretty well but was a bit bulky. I finally made it to the running store yesterday and they recommended a pair of Craft hybrid weather gloves. They look like running gloves but have an added mitten flap that you can put over your fingers when it's cold and/or windy or tuck up when it's not needed. She also said the mitten flap makes an excellent place to put a hand warmer if it's really cold. I'm anxious to give them a try.
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:31 pm

Nancy - I use hand warmers in my gloves - the kind you might use for skiing.  I know others who use the toe warmers as well.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/grabber-warmers-hand-warmers-pack/ID=prod6219086-product
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Re: Winter running advice...

Post  Jim Lentz on Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:05 pm

I have some Burton skiing mittens I wear on colder winter runs.
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