Sunday, January 10, 2010

Running in the Cold and Snow

I was reading a not-so-great article on Runner's World, but thought the comments at the bottom had some great tips I wanted to pass on!

atomthompson wrote:
My "cut off" temp is around -20F or if the windchill gets much below -30F. I have no doubt that I could manage just fine in temperatures below that, however the risk is too high. First off you want to be careful, while you might be able to stay warm enough while running, if you fall and are unable to move you want to know someone can get to you IMMEDIATELY. Also make sure you don't have exposed skin when it's that cold.

As far as running on ice, there are some items you can add to your shoes which work great. One is "yak trax", they strap onto any shoe and provide wonderful traction in the ice. Although they do the opposite on regular dry ground. Also if you are running in shoes you don't mind hurting a little, taking very small screws and screwing them into the outer edge of your shoe works wonders. I put them so the head of the screw is hitting the ground and not the sharp end, this makes it so you can still walk on carpet (not hardwood though). Just make sure you don't screw it into where it could potentially come through the shoe into your foot. Hence the outer edge.

Breathing takes some getting use to. I suggest wearing a mask of some sort. There are many out there, some better than others. It can help hold in some heat so the air you breath isn't as bad. Otherwise you just need to get use to the air. I try to run outside as much as possible, taking a week or two off can start the adjusting process all over again.

As for pace, I tend to have a harder time running fast in extreme cold. The weather will affect your muscles. Just like trying to run hard right from the get go without a warm up. Also you are probably wearing more clothing and it's probably a bit restrictive. It all plays a part. Just focus on the effort you are putting into it. If it feels like you are working just as hard, guess what, you are.

Hope my suggestions helped. Happy running everyone!!

Dr. Ron wrote:
I run in NH year round and deal with the same icy roads and trails mentioned by adipocere. Another option that utilizes your favorite running shoe (rather than a specific model from one manufacturer) is Icespike -- semi-permanent hardened steel cleats that attach to your shoes. Last longer, lighter and more comfortable compared to other traction devices out there.

Here's the link:

Happy and safe running!


Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed with a -20 degree cut off---I just complained about running in 19 degrees!!
Great suggestions!

Lora said...

Cool tips! The lowest I've been out is 17 and I would have gone longer if I'd have had warmer socks.