Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Under-Dressed: Misunderestimating the Cold

We northerners have started to feel the cold. My long run in Cooperstown, New York, this past weekend was my first introduction of the season to cold-weather apparel. The weather was getting down into the 20s, so I was prepared with my vest and long-sleeve tech shirt.

I knew I'd be cold for the first few miles, but would warm up by the end of the 10-mile run. However, that same clothing scheme didn't quite work out last night.

Though the temperature has only gotten down into the 30s at night here in Akron, I felt much colder during my four-mile run yesterday than I did in New York on Saturday, wearing the exact same gear. (I didn't even wash the clothes!)

The difference? I was running farther and had more time to warm up in Cooperstown. I also was running in the morning as the sun -- and temperature -- was rising. The oncoming cold reminds me that I need to consider my wardrobe more carefully. I don't want to catch the sniffles, now, do I?

As you know, the Viper is your foremost authority on the subject of winter running. Last year, I wrote the book on cold-weather running. I have also researched low-cost ways to modify your shoes for running in the snow.

Here are some additional pointers to consider as winter approaches:
  • Don't be under-dressed. You can't put on clothes you don't bring with you.
  • What time is it? It's warmest in the afternoon. It'll be warming up if you run in the morning and cooling down at night.
  • Shave your glasses. Need your bifocals? Future so bright you gotta wear shades? Cold weather fogging up your run? Apply some shaving cream to the lenses and polish it off. Voila! Shaving cream acts as an anti-fog agent.
  • Run faster. The wind chill might negate the heat you create with the increased friction, but the faster you run the sooner you'll get home.
  • Warm up. It takes longer to warm up when you run in the cold (duh!). Warm up beforehand with stretching, calisthenics or even a hot shower. After your run, get out of those sweaty clothes before you catch your Doomsday Cold. Yes, I said get naked.
Now that I've thoroughly tainted your minds with more good advice, go run already.

14 comments:

Vanilla said...

If you wear a scarf or something to cover your mouth and chin then don't forget to move it before you spit. I know a guy who always forgets to do that.

Sarah said...

Why should I trust the winter advice of anyone who didn't grow up in the Snow Belt? Talk to me when you move to Chardon, my friend... ;)

Jess said...

I'm pretty sure hanging out after my race on Sunday in the cold in sweaty clothes is what landed me this runny nose....damn if only your post had been sometime last week.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Does that really work with the shaving cream on the glasses? Hmmm... stands to reason, then, that Visine on my bikini area should be helpful in some way. But dare I risk my defiling my taint?

Like an idiot, I'm actually gonna try that. The shaving cream, I mean. But if it doesn't work, I'll be back ... loaded for bear. Or I'll just send you a case of the limited edition Seasonal Beer, Samuel Adams Oktobertaint (now with 20% more taint, less Oktobery aftertaste).

Nitmos said...

Welcome back. Things were starting to get a little too friendly on the blogs and then I felt a dark cloud descend and knew you must be back.

tfh said...

The most important lesson I learned from my high school cross country coach was: your sleeves are not gloves. He was dismayed to see thumb holes in the lower sleeves of most of his runners.

But your lessons are important too, and valuable in their own way. If only I could start making the "run faster" happen with any regularity.

chia said...

I instantly want to walk into a store and ask for Oktobertaint.

Stay warm mis amigo. Many hopes of "increased friction" this winter season.

Big said...

if the 'run faster' isn't working, try the run shorter, it gets you home even quicker.

Xenia said...

Well, aren't you Mr. Know-it-all. So, does this mean you're going to become a morning runner for the winter? (heh)

RazZDoodle said...

I never even thought about running faster. You've just saved me some serious chafing/frostbite/shrinkage.

Vava said...

As I venture into my first winter of running, I need all the advice I can get. So, Thanks! It's funny how winter running gear is so different from my winter biking gear. But then again, I bike to work, and I (will) run for other reasons and destinations...

Ted said...

Thanks for the tips!!! I have learned a few pointers. There is another pointer for you, Viper. If the weather gets miserably COLD, you can apply Vaseline over your face. It acts like an insulation. It works !!!

Ms. V. said...

Another reason why you need California. I ran in 80 yesterday, though and thought I would die. Yes, 5 miles at 3pm, drenched.

I love running in the cold. However, to me, cold is like, 60.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Us in the North--take pity on us Canadians...we had SNOW. SNOW in OCTOBER. I know, you guys think it always snows and we live in igloos but really...we don't usually get Snow in October.

Like the tips about cold weather running...I'm willing to try anything. But I will add one--go out looking like you're going to rob a bank--you'll prevent chronic bronchitis with the ski mask.