People often ask me, “Do you run outside in the winter too?”
My reply is always, “Yep!”
“How do you do that?” they exclaim.
My answer: “I. DO. NOT. KNOW!”
If you know me, I HATE the cold. Hate it with a passion. As a kid growing up in Minnesota, I wanted to move to Florida, but I was too in love and moved even further north to Alaska. It is funny because Minnesota is that state that most people in the United States think is synonymous with cold and winter, but I managed to find a colder place.
(On a side note: it is also interesting to think about my perceptions of Alaska growing up. Yeah, I knew it was there, but I didn’t think much about it because it was so far away and it wasn’t like anyone really lived there, right?)
Anyway, moving beyond my dislike for the cold, let’s talk about why I’m not sure I continue to run in the cold.
First of all, when I dress in layers, it never helps me stay warm. One recent Saturday I wore three pairs of pants. Three. Now one would think this would be more than sufficient, but oh no, my thighs were still bright red when I got back after a mere 3 miles. Plus, it is really difficult to bend my legs while wearing that many layers.
I also mentioned in a previous post how my stomach gets so cold. From what I understand, fat is not a good insulator for itself. It protects the muscle and tissue below it, but it isn’t able to insulate its self. (Someone can correct me if I am wrong.) This makes sense because when I look at my stomach after I am done running, the only area that is red it my little bit of pudge (fat) on my belly.
Oh, and P.S. I’ve had SO many people up here tell me to gain some weight so I will be warmer. Sorry, people that’s not going to happen.
But all-in-all, the 30-45 minutes of torture I endure running in the cold is worth feeling really good the remainder of the day.
I also wanted to share this chart with you that I first discovered on the blog Sweat Once a Day. It shows how your pace changes with the temperature—hot or cold. This chart shows that 53* F is the optimal temperature for running and from there your pace slows down as the temperature increases or decreases.
I think my ideal temperature for running is more like 60+ degrees.
What is the hottest and/or coldest weather you have ever run it?
I ran in -40*F (with windchill) once time in college. (Heidi, do you remember that?) I’m not sure what the hottest temperature I’ve ever run in. . . . .90*F??
What is your ideal temperature and weather conditions to run in?