Five observations about running in the cold

This weekend I finally had the chance to take my new kicks for a run – outside. If you’ve read any of my blog so far, you’ll know how much I’ve dreaded the cold weather.

It was a balmy 42 degrees when I took off, so it wasn’t exactly freezing by any stretch of the imagination. I spent most of my run thinking about what I could write for this blog.

So without further adieu, I present…

Five Observations About Running in the Cold

1. Running outside in the cold is good. At least when I’m running outside (as opposed the treadmill), my attention-deficited mind can find things to fixate on. It also allows me to set distance goals for myself. Run to that stop sign. Make it to the curve. Get past this stretch of woods where zombies might live. On the treadmill, all I have to look at is whatever is on TV or the eleventeen-year old beside me running at a sprinter’s pace.

Not this time, d-bag.

2. Running outside in the cold sucks. A half-mile into my run, I began to wonder when the icy air would stop stabbing my lungs. It never did. And I couldn’t get a handle on breathing through my nose because too many boogers had formed from the time I left the house. I ended up not running as long (or as far) as I wanted. There’s definitely some conditioning involved.

3. Equipment matters. My shoes! My awesome shoes! My feet have never felt better running outside. Ever. I noticed my cadence was smoother and my feet didn’t feel all floppy as I was plodding down the road. I still haven’t gotten all of my cold-weather gear together, though. And it showed. My shirts got all sweaty. My head and hands were freezing. And I lost feeling in my ears somewhere along the way.

4. A running partner is essential. It’s not like I have the energy to talk and run at the same time, but it’s comforting to know that if I was attacked by a zombie, there would be someone there for me to sacrifice while I run away.

Shane wouldn't think twice about dropping you.

5. It’s easier to run when you’re 30 pounds lighter. During the past four months, some folks at my agency and I have been involved in a Biggest Loser contest, and, with three days to go, I’m in the lead. Most of this weight loss can be attributed to a change in my eating habits, but I did exercise throughout the contest. I used the MyFitnessPal app  on my phone to track my caloric and nutritional intake. Part of the effort it took to drop the weight is what’s propelling me to take up running. It was hard enough to lose it – I don’t want to gain it back.

So that’s it for now. Did I miss anything?

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7 responses to “Five observations about running in the cold

  1. Great post! I enjoy a good cold run. When the temp drops below 50 and keeps falling, it only gets better. I find I can push harder without overheating. You are right, you need to make sure you have the right gear. Once you get the right gear, you will start enjoying the cold road more. Good luck out there and keep on running!

    • Thanks! We’ve been lucky so far in Louisville with the cold weather. This time last year, we’d already had two ice storms and 20 inches of snow.

  2. Cold running really is the best running. Miles go by much faster when you’re not dying from heat exhaustion.

    Your about page says you’re looking for a fall race. I do the Air Force Marathon in Dayton every year. It’s in mid-september in Dayton, a relatively short drive from Kentucky. It is a great race, but registration fillsis up rather quickly.

    For a race a little later in the year, try Des Moines or Indianapolis. I’ve never run either of them, but I have friends who have and they recommend them.

    Finally, your charity running is awesome. Best of luck to you in your training. Remember the training is more difficult than the race. The training lasts a few months, the race, only a couple hours.

    • I’m learning that cold running isn’t as bad as I thought. And I’m actually enjoying some of the runs when it isn’t below freezing.

      I’ve got my eye on a few candidates as my full marathon in the fall. I know registrations are opening (and closing) soon, so I need to just pick one.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. And thanks for the last bit of advice – I never really thought of it that way.

  3. Pingback: Five observations about running in the heat « See Glenn Run·

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