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

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Any advice for cold weather running?

Blogathon post 19/30

I need to be prepared for the upcoming Rhodes Ultra and that means I need to be prepared for very low temperatures. Much lower than I am used to. I like the winter and love running in the cold, but running in temperatures of less than -10°C (14F) with the possibility of snow is new territory for me.

How do I dress warm enough without being too warm? The race starts with a very hard 21km climb. This will surely work up a sweat. Then I will be hit by the ice wind on top of the mountain. I need to be geared for this. I have never run in snow and the coldest run I’ve ever done was -7°C. And that was a dry, windless -7°.

So what do I wear? The lower body is easy. I have some great second skin tights and I will wear my trusted Nikes and socks. No problem there. I am not sure about the upper body though.

What type of jacket/wind breaker will be best? Water proof or just wind proof? I know water proof jackets can become very warm during exercise.

How many layers? The top layer must obviously be easy to take off and put back on again if needed. It must also be easy to carry with me while I’m not wearing it.

My current plan is to wear 2 x long sleeve tech shirts over a short sleeve tech shirt under a water/wind proof jacket. A buff for my neck and mouth, beanie for the head and ears and of course gloves for the hands. I got great Nike gloves for Father’s day.

I think this should be fine. Any ideas or recommendations?


Mike said...

You might want to try one long sleeve tech shirt and maybe a vest, then your windbreaker or fleece jacket. The vest keeps your core warm without heating you up and the fleece breathes. The beanie and gloves are an important part of the "winter uniform". Just keep experimenting with layering and you will find what works.

Melissa said...

I'm warm-natured (even in cold temps) and a heavy sweater so take this with a grain of salt...BUT...I would be roasting with that many base layers. I would eliminate one of the l/s techs. If you go with s/s or sleeveless base + l/s tech + windproof jacket (and all of the other accessories you mentioned) I should think you would be fine.

As a side note, I love arm warmers/arm sleeves for colder running b/c I can get the arm warmth without having to add more layer to my core. Plus, they are easily removable and I can tie to my waist pack or whatever else.

Michael said...

Even if you got some great gloves I would recommend bringing a second pair you can wear over or under them. The hands are usually the biggest issue it seems and if they are cold you are cold. I would definitely dress in layers. That way if you get too hot you can strip layers. But you can't fix too cold.

Kate Geisen said...

I'd go with wind proof over waterproof unless you're expecting wet conditions. Even breathable waterproof jackets hold in a lot of moisture. You'll likely be pretty comfortable as long as you're moving, but times when you have to slow it down are when you'll have to really monitor what you're wearing. Also, did you mention sick liners? I don't have any, but something to keep your feet dry might be invaluable.

bobbi said...

I love love love running in winter. I like running in trail shoes because they keep out the wind (and my toes don't freeze). I also prefer a base layer top (very close to the skin) and another long sleeve (looser) and then a fleece vest for the temps you mentioned. I would choose windproof over waterproof if you go with a typical jacket or I personally would be too warm.

Have fun!

Char said...

The lowest temp I've ever run in was about 4C and that felt freezing so I' afraid I have no practical advice to give.

Lauren said...

I have not run in weather that cold. But I have run in freezing temperatures and in the snow. The biggest thing that comes to mind is protect the face. My face got so cold, I actually feared frostbite. You don't want to lose your nose. I think next time, I'm going to wear some type of ski mask. Have fun!

Jerry Smallwood said...

An interesting question from someone who lives so close to the equator and is so used to high temperatures.

Coming from England we have been used to drops in temperature like these this year but at the same time lower temperatures generally. The biggest problem you will have is wind chill and/or being wet and so suggest lots of layers, one of them being a waterproof.

I also suggest lightweight gloves that easily dry if snow gets on them and a Buff/Bandana for the face

ajh said...

Two longsleeve tech shirts sounds bulky. I would wear a tech shirt, light jacket and a wind breaker. The buff for the neck is most important for me. Do you need something on your feet so you don't slip in the cold?

Christina said...

Living in Arizona where the low is maybe 33F, I can't help you. I personally run hot and don't wear much even in the winter. Gloves are a must and something, not really a hat, to cover my ears.

:) said...

I agree with all the people who commented that two shirts is too heavy a base layer.

I run in Minnesota where we have similar temperatures. For long runs, I typically want a myriad of combinations for warming up or cooling down. (Jacket zipped, no gloves; gloves, no hat, jacket unzipped; etc).

For that temperature I usually wear:
Upper body
Base layer - long sleeve tech shirt
Mid layer - vest or similar, must have a zipper
Outer later - windbreaker; waterproof isn't important, you'll be sweating from the inside anyway

Lower body
Base layer - tights
Outter layer - sweat pants (you may want wind proof)

Smart wool socks and sock liners. Maybe do at least one run in the shoes, sock liners and socks before the race, just to test the fit.

Hands - glove liners and gloves; in the US we have this little knit things called "stretch gloves" that are super cheap and that's what I use for a liner layer.

Head - I liked your ideas there, I use something similar.

Good luck! -Liz

Giorgio said...
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Giorgio said...
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Giorgio said...

You would have to be ready to protect your neck and your month, if needed. Great chellange, Johann. Enjoy

ultra collie said...

layers so you can strip off / pop on easily
merino wool a must
a good winter buff
and i find a gilet helps keep the core warm without all the sweat associated with full jacket..unless its tipping down of course