According to the National Weather Service, tonight will be 20 degrees and “blustery.” I feel silly bitching about this since I spent four years bitching about running in the sticky, swampy heat in Florida (in the summer, it’s like trying to breathe through a hot, wet washcloth), but this is NOT my preferred running weather. I have a few resources to help me cope, and I’ll share them here.
First, check out an awesome compilation of Runner’s World stories and tips for cold weather running here. The stories have all been incredibly helpful. The best tip I’ve culled so far: Draw a hot bath before you leave for a short run. It provides double motivation: You’ll look forward to the hot, steamy bath waiting for you at home, and you’ll wanna run quickly to avoid that hot, steamy bath turning lukewarm.
Another tip: Mizuno Breath Thermo gloves, made from some fancy material that actually heats up when you sweat. If you’re a sweaty little dude like me, the effect is truly magical. Our friends at Pacers, our local running store, recommended them a month or so ago, and I’ve been borderline obsessed with them ever since.
Which brings me to my third secret weapon in fighting the cold: Pacers’ “fun runs” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I get an e-mail with a brand-new running route in the Silver Spring area. We then meet half a dozen (or more in warmer weather) or so runners at the Pacers in downtown Silver Spring, and head out for a great big group run.
In the past, I’ve talked myself out of running with partners because I’m afraid I’ll either slow down my training buddy or vice versa. This is partially because I’m totally spoiled from running with my best friend, Jen, in high school. We were almost exactly the same pace, which was awesome. More importantly, we had run together for so long, we could communicate solely by grunting and spitting (we try to only do this when we run — it can really make things awkward at the dinner table). My only real running partner since then has been my husband. He’s faster than me, which makes even casual runs kind of like tempo runs for me. The key is, I can make him slow down without guilt or shame on account of the fact of us being married.
Pacers has been great in breaking me of my fear of running with new people. We break up into pace groups ranging from the insane 6-7-ish minute miles all the way to 10-11 minute miles. Steve and I usually fall somewhere in between. We’ve met some great people doing it, and it takes SO much of the guesswork out of running. Where should I run? When? With whom? These questions are all answered for me. And since it’s in the evening, I have something to look forward to all day long.
What’s motivating you to get out and train in the cold? Share your tips by posting a comment below.