Friday, March 8, 2013

Five on Friday - Cold Running

I will finish the Another Mother Runner 5K training plan this weekend at the Run Lucky 5K.  I much prefer running outside to the treadmill and this training cycle has been in the winter so running outside has had some additional weather challenges.  If you're interested in starting running now, consider the Another Mother Runner Virtual 5K.  Training starts this week and the final "race" is the weekend of Mother's Day.  I think I'll join using the "Own It" plan from their book.  If you would like to participate, let me know as I would love to be part of your support system

Once upon a time, I saw this lovely Nike ad with a very fit woman running and a tag line that read - Cold outside? Get Hot.  Delightfully puny prompt to get warm by moving and by moving becoming more well, hot.   Often when I walk out into cold (by Oklahoma) standard air that is my mental push. If you move, you will get warmer.*  Some sources I've read say 15-20 degrees warmer.  This the rough measure I used in gauging how many layers to wear.  For example if it is 50 degrees out, I probably don't need too much in the way of cold weather gear as 70 degrees sounds fairly lovely, right? Often of late it has been well below 50 degrees and windy for my runs.  After discussions with my best running friends (BRF) Heather, Tracie, Stephanie, and Able, I have a few equipment recommendations that help me get out the door and feel warm for my run.

1. Brooks HVAC gloves - this was my first cold weather accessory and I think my most beloved.  I love being able to pop my thumbs out to tie my shoe or change something on my phone, they have magnets to keep the pair together when not in use, and (although this may sound gross) little soft patches to wipe your nose (and then wash them, obviously).  For me, they are a must have.

2. Thermal Pants - The favorite among the group polled was the Brooks Women's Utopia Thermal Pants.  Due to availability issues, I have the Under Armour version and it seems to work well, but some of the seems are a bit itchy. I'll likely get Brooks next winter when I need a smaller size.

3.  Running jacket - I don't have a particular one to recommend as mine was a gift from my kids for Christmas and is your basic Champion jacket from target.  I think Heather and others like the Brooks half-zip. I love having one at all as I used to run in random jackets around the house.  I like that it is purple, fitted,  shields me from the wind, and is, for me, the right degree of warmth.  Also, having something that is cute makes me feel prettier and more like a runner than Brent's random windbreaker.  (Hey, its the little things).

4. Feetures Elite no show socks - I have been wildly skeptical about the need for $15 socks.  That said, I no longer feel comfortable running without these.  I've tried to go back to regular socks on days when these were in laundry limbo and the arch of my left foot aches.  So, there you have it.  Love these (as do my BRFs).  I do have a pair of Smart Wool socks as well, but the Feetures are perfect for me.  (For colder weather I use some with a touch of Merino wool, but will be wearing them in some form year round).

5.  Brooks Infiniti Ear Band - I've only recently joined the ear band group as temperatures fell in late February   I have a vibrantly hot pink Brooks version, because that was what Red Coyote had left in the store when it was freezing last weekend. I like that it both keeps my ears warm and ear buds in.

Knuckle Lights - I haven't tried these yet, but for those that like to run very early or late in the day they seem wonderful. Marilyn gave them to me for my birthday last week and I am SO excited to try them and have the times I can run expanded a bit thanks to this light.

Of course, you also need shoes that work for your running style. (I prefer Altras, but have had good experiences with Brooks as well). There's also shirts to layer for warmth.  I have a long sleeved, bright yellow version of this one from Another Mother Runner makes me happy. I also run with my iPhone (in an arm band and with ear buds). This is the point where we all laugh hysterically about the general bit about all you need to run is a pair of shoes, if that... Clearly, you can run with just that, but you are likely to be cold and eventually in pain.  These things make it more comfortable, fun, and pretty--- This means they help get me out the door, which is my #1 biggest challenge.

On the non-equipment side, my biggest lesson learned has been --- check the weather.  I resist following the weather, probably in part because my Dad was obsessed with it and really it doesn't play into my day much. That said, at least once, waiting til later in the day has resulted in a much colder, wetter run than if I'd run in the morning. Check the temperature and look ahead when planning the run that day or runs for the week if you're concerned about temperature.

*Yes, this would be a good place to add said advertisement image, but crazily I cannot find it anywhere?  Internet/Blogging fail.

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