On Sunday, I waited until about noon to head out for my scheduled long run because it was cold, as in the coldest day we have had yet here in Providence. We are talking below freezing temperatures, which is why I chose to go a little later in the hopes that it would warm up.
My hopes were dashed when it was noon and still a measly 15 degrees (-1 with the wind chill) when I set out on the Blackstone Valley Bike Path. I usually don’t run outside when it’s this cold, but I have decided that I loathe long runs on the treadmill so much that I am going to buck up and learn to enjoy running outside in the super cold temps.
Surprisingly, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I dressed very appropriately and this contributed a lot towards my comfort during the run. I wore a long sleeve tech shirt as a base layer (never wear cotton as a base layer), a fleece half-zip for a mid-layer, and my Saucony ethereal jacket on top. I was actually super sweaty by the time I arrived back at the car.
For the legs, I opted for my Hard Mountain Gear fleece-lined leggings which totally rock! They kept my legs so nice and toasty and totally protected me from the wind. Combined with my wool socks, the outfit was a complete thermal win. I almost forgot to add that I wore my balaclava too. Although I definitely looked like a ninja (see picture), my head, ears, and nose were very happy about this decision.
I have asthma that rarely flares up any more, but if it does, it’s in the super cold temps. The balaclava is great for anyone with breathing issues because it warms the air before you breathe it in. I think it would have been a really tough run without it. It can sometimes get damp and sweaty, but if breathing in Arctic are is the alternative– I’ll take it!
The other cold weather issue I had yet to deal with was a frozen hand held! I have never run in temperatures cold enough for my water bottle to freeze. One of my fellow running friends from Canada gave me a great tip: use a Fuel Belt and run with it under your jacket. The bottles stay just warm enough not to freeze.
All in all, it was a really beautiful run. Only two other people were crazy enough to be out there, so I enjoyed the nature and the solitude!
If you need help figuring out how much to wear during different temperatures, Runner’s World has a great online “outfit calculator.” It’s a pretty neat little tool when you are unsure about what to wear when you head out for a run.
Did anyone else run in frigid temperatures this past weekend?