Baby, it’s cold outside

The forecast for Silver Spring, Md., at 7 p.m., when I’m slated to meet up for my group run: 30 degrees. Clear. Feels like 21 degrees. Wind, 10 mph from the N/NW. My teeth are chattering just thinking about it.

It’s apparently going to warm up a bit by the weekend. But for tonight, it’s back to my cold-weather coping mechanisms.

My main line of defense: My several layers of running clothes, including: my ancient Brooks running tights; a technical T-shirt and long-sleeved shirt; a fleece hat from the George Washington 10K Classic; my Mizuno Breath Thermo gloves, made from some fancy material that actually heats up when you sweat; a pair of fleece gloves (yep, I even layer my gloves); and finally, if it’s really cold, an old North Face fleece. Now, of course, I add my reflective vest as the final layer.

I'll wear all of these clothes on my run tonight. Really. All at the same time.

A few other helpful resources:

  • A guest blog post from my Minnesotan running friend about coping with the cold.
  • A collection of Runner’s World stories about coping with the cold, compiled here. This includes some tips from David Nieman, Ph.D., who heads the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, including this winner: If you’re worried about it being too cold to breathe comfortably, try wearing a neck gaiter and covering your nose and mouth with it. Your breath will humidify the air, making it easier to breathe. So simple!

How do you cope with the cold? What piece of cold-weather gear can you not live without? Share your tips by posting a comment!


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7 responses to “Baby, it’s cold outside

  1. KateKirk

    I’m a huge fan of Under Armour coldgear…it is comfortable, warm and looks pretty good (well, I think it does). Kate’s winter lesson: if you’ve had a past injury, warm up more before heading out and stretch more afterwards. I blithely skipped these suggestions and as a consequence am on a little rest hiatus to let my ITB hip…uh, chill.

  2. Brittany

    I second the Under Armour coldgear. Although, I always overdress and I’m too warm a few miles in. I guess the only way I can stand going out in the first place is if I’m not freezing to begin with.

  3. Great practical advice! I cope with the cold (in addition to dressing properly) by celebrating my triumph over my desire to wimp out, and the joy of getting out and discovering it’s not as cold as I thought.

  4. Timely post – with even the south land mired in weeks of actic air mass! It DOES feel great when you’re done with a cold run and you know you’ve burned even more calories than usual. Just another small challange overcome 🙂

  5. trialsoftraining

    layers and layers!! Mostly Nike 🙂 as I’ve accumulated that stuff over the past few months. I’ve also realized, this may be one of the few times (with running) that Cotton is your friend. as a layer over Underarmour turtlenecks? perfect! and a little cheaper than the “tech shirts”….

    at least you’re still out there running! 🙂 I hope the forecast around here for the weekend holds up….

  6. Sugoi makes some of my favorite cold-weather items-highly recommend their MidZero and SubZero tights and a couple of their jackets if you can find on sale. Love Mizuno’s Breath Thermo gloves and headband too. I try to find this stuff on sale whenever I can-it’s worth it.

    And another thing I do for another bottom layer in really cold weather that really works-running skirt (the kind with shorts, not briefs) over tights! 🙂

  7. oh come on! 30/21? no problem! 😉

    i’ve endured a couple colder-than-preferred runs already this year and it’s always tough in the first mile, and then again about an hour later if you’re running long and start to get a little sweaty (more chills).

    i like to wear a base layer (under armor or golite), topped with a longsleeve tech shirt (from a race), topped with either a fleece (like even old navy fleece), running-rain jacket (if it’s raining), or a “running fleece” (as i call it). for my bottoms i wear tights and if it’s below 20 i wear recovery socks under my tights! brr.

    my “running fleece” is fleece-y on the inside but the outside is “running fabric”. (i’m so good at describing things) i don’t know what to call it because it’s not just a shirt but it’s not a fleece. anyway, that’s what has worked for me so far this winter. it’s definitely all about layering!

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