"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Winter Training

I’ve been bragging and going on about the lovely winter weather we get here in Johannesburg. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean the winters don’t get cold. At the moment South Africa is very cold. A strong cold front passed through earlier this week and large parts of the country is covered with snow. We don’t get snow often in Johannesburg, once every ten years or so, but we do get the cold that comes from the areas that do get snow. At the moment, this is the case.

What this really means is that the evenings and mornings are cold, while the days are warmer with lovely sunshine. This week the minimum temperatures in Johannesburg are below 0°C (32F) every morning. At my house it was -2°C (28.4F) yesterday and -3°C (26.6F) today.

About -2.5°C (36.5F) when I left for work this morning - sun shining.

For me this is cold, but obviously it is far from extreme. As long as the wind doesn’t blow it is fine. So I carry on with my early morning runs through the winter. Again, if the wind doesn’t blow it is fine. I just dress warm and run. Most people, including other runners, think I’m crazy to go out between 4 and 5 AM with the temperature below zero. I obviously don’t agree with them and since I’ve become a member of blogland I know I’m not crazy. When I look at the winters people in the Northern hemisphere get I know how lucky I am to be able to run outside through the winter. To give you an idea, I’ve been running for 29 years now, but I’ve never run on a treadmill. I’ve never been forced indoors by winter. For that I am grateful.

So I was out the door just before 5 this morning. When I got back from my 9.2km run the temperature was -3°C. There was no wind and the run was great. I know I look like I’ve just come from a line-up at the local police station, but I ran!

The running shorts over the second skins might look a bit dorky, but they keep the cold out where it matters…

When I walked on my lawn this morning there was a white layer of frost covering it. The rest of the garden is also feeling the cold with frost and black frost taking its toll.

A lot of the plants in my garden look like this with black frost this morning.

Apart from this I’m happy. Winter is here, the mornings are cold, but I’m training. The forecast for the next few days look like this:

Happy running everyone!


ajh said...

It is impressive to have never run on a treadmill.

The Green Girl said...

I agree with AJH, I was very impressed by that.

I can't help but be envious of your cold weather!

Emz said...


29 years running and never run on a treadmill?!? Try it - you'll like it. ;)

Cindy said...

There are days I prefer running in the cold. I think of them when it's 90 degrees or so and the sun is especially bright :)

Julie said...

Hi Johann,
I love the picture of you all warm and cozy:) I actually like running in cooler weather. The perfect temp for me would be like 48 degrees:) Cheers to your winter!

Anne said...

Move to Québec...you'll be begging for a treadmill when it's -30°C :)

What amazing weather you have...I'm quite sure I would never use a treadmill either if I lived in SA.

Char said...

Our weather's a little like that, although out minimums don't often reach zero. It's pretty good football-playing weather.

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

Did your eyelashes get frosty? that is my favorite part about running in the cold : )

Rad Runner said...

Best of both worlds! Dorky Shmorkey I call it "Style" :)

Brybrarobry said...

Ditto on Canada, run in -40 C with me and you'll never complain again. haha

Jill said...

I'm the treadmill queen, but that's mostly because my allergies are so intense in the spring that it forces me indoors to run. I don't mind the cold at all, and actually prefer it to the heat. Good job getting the run in and you far from look dorky; you look like a runner staying warm :).

Giorgio said...

Hi Johann,
most people don't know that a runner's body is stronger than a "normal" body. Tell them that you aren't crazy! Most runners who go out between 4 and 5 a.m. with the temperature below zero are not crazy. Of course, if I felt weak I wouldn't go out early in the morning!

Mexico soccer team might lose against Uruguay. And South Africa would have to win against France. In this perspective, South Africa is not a gonner. I really think it is possible because France soccer team is weak and disorientated now.
In my opinion the strongest teams are Argentina and Netherlands. Germany is interesting too.
Today the match Italy - New Zealand starts at 04:00 p.m. in Nelspruit. http://www.fifa.com/
Have a nice Sunday and enjoy your country covered with snow :)

Sherri said...

I never thought I would run on a treadmill either....I use to hate them! Then I had 5 kids, it was either change my attitude or give up running! I am thankful I changed my attitude...I love to run to much. I don't do it much..but I keep trying! I love that you don't run on a treadmill, I think it is great! Your truly amazing!

Average A said...

Thank you for the comment on my blog, Johann! Yes, the Maniacs are a little crazy ... I think I should have had a few marathons under my belt before I tackled that -- but I did it!! I was just popping through your blog and see you are currently doing some winter running! I happen to LOVE running in the winter! My perfect temp is around 40F! This past winter I learned about the shorts-over-the-tights trick. You're right; it seems a little dorky but it REALLY helps!

Happy running!