I am not the most experienced runner, I started little under a year ago. But I am from Norway, and that counts for a lot in knowing how to dress for the cold and windy weather. Easter holidays was spent at our cabin in the mountains, in the snow. Some years we could just about see the chimney popping out. We dug a deep hole and made stairs in the snow down to the entrance. Most days, if not every, we went skiing onto a mountaintop. I will admit, when I was younger I did fight this activity a little, I would rather stay inside or around the cabin playing. I was the youngest one and all the others had such long legs and skied much quicker than I did. My mum stayed with me and we was a bit behind the others, especially uphill. But thinking back on it, it makes me smile, I would not be without it, not a single experience. And then was the breaks with sandwiches, oranges, ‘kvikk lunch’- a chocolate with biscuits and warm coco. This is basically the standard for all families when on a skiing trip at Easter.
But back to what I was really talking about. I wanted to write about my run earlier this week. I had woken up to snow, pretty pretty Christmassy snow. And even though it was very windy it did not stop me from going on my scheduled run. I was quite excited in fact, was looking forward to run in the fresh crisp air and even hoping it would snow some more when I was out.
When running in the cold it’s important to dress correctly. Dressing in layers is key to stay warm. Thin layers keep you warmer than a thick one. The reason is that it traps the air and insulate and therefore keep you warm. Closest to your body you would want clothing that transport the sweat away and keep you dry. This is called wicking. You could also use sports wool, but I do not recommend that for running or high intensity work out as it does not transport the sweat away from your body. So with high intensity go for a wicking fabric clothing. On top of that you would want a layer to keep you warm. A fleece or wool would be good here. If it’s not too cold you could also go for a cotton jumper. On the top you would want a shell coat to keep the wind and some of the rain off. On your legs, wicking underneath a pair of jogging pants meant for wintery weather. They are a bit thicker and some also with a breathable fabric to keep snow and rain from seeping through.
This Monday the wind was so strong and therefore also very cold, so I wore 3 layers using a fleece as the middle one. On my legs I used a sport wicking legging and a slightly thicker pair of jogging pants. This kept me nice and warm.
Also; to stay warm and cold-free, keep your phalanges warm. Gloves are important, you do not want your hands freezing when out on a run. Ideally buy a pair meant for activity that will transport the sweat. But if you’re just staring out or you don’t run that often you could get away with whatever you have lying around. But they need to breathe, so don’t use those big thick snow-sports gloves, your hands will melt. Try with what you got, if you don’t find them comfortable then there are running gloves in all prize ranges. I find I use the gloves at the start of my run, when I’m nice and warm i take them off and just hold on to them. Or you could tuck them in to the side of your pants. I always run with a buff, (I really don’t like that word, it makes no sense to me) one around my neck and one with wool on my head. If it’s really windy I tuck the neck one into the head one. You want to keep the wind away from your neck and head region, it’s so very easy to catch a cold if not.
Feet, good shoes are important. If you’re planing on running much or already are, I would recommend investing in a good pair meant for rougher weather. If less running you could get through the winter with what you have. Maybe do a smaller investment in some thicker running socks.
I stayed nice and warm on my run. And even though I got bitch-slapped across the face a few times by some rude hailstones, I really enjoyed it. I was so pleased with the arrival of the snow that I decided not to listen to music or pay attention to how far I had run. I ran the same place earlier, so I knew the distance. It was just nice with a bit of fresh air and no music droning in my ears, competing with the wind and hailstones.
So it’s all about the way you look at it. You can of course choose to focus on the bad things about the bad weather, or you can choose not too. If you look at all things in live, there’s positive and negative aspects with it. Focus on the positive, and you will become a happier person in general. I feel like this a different post all together. But give it a though. There’s no harm in a bit of wind and rain, why should it stop you from going on your run or walk.