Running In Extreme Cold!

Yesterday I ran to work and back in -10c / 15f with a wind blowing of around 20mph increasing the wind chill. Sure it was VERY cold and I could have easily ran indoors on the treadmill. However, I didn't have the car to drive to work, and with the increase in wind chill and length of time to change into cycling gear running was the best option, and warmest!

My time in the army many years ago taught me about prior, proper, preparation, prevents piss poor performance. With this ringing in my ears here is my list of what I wore (ps the picture above is not me and I wore more!).

1. Thick 'Feetures' merino socks above ankle length (with my trainers).

2. '2XU' Compression shorts underwear (to cover thighs).

3. Thermal knee warmers (these are my cycling ones).

4. 'Nike' Thermal long tights.

5. 'Nike' Thick thermal long sleeve top.

6. 'Specialized' Arm warmers (underneath long sleeve top above).

7. Technical T-shirt (over thermal long sleeve).

8. 'Nike' Windroof / showerproof jacket.

9. 'Spyder' Long thermal gloves (thin ski gloves).

10. Neck gaiter (over chin, mouth and nose at start).

11. Headband and thermal hat.

12. 'Goodr' Sunglasses (to stop wind chill in eyes and to stop them watering!).

13. 'Salomon' Ultra running backpack (with my work clothes / small towel etc).

ps: I could have even added calf guards or long compression socks under my thermal tights too, but I didn't need to as my calves were not tight… and I forgot about it lol!).

I have options with so many layers to regulate my temperature as needed, but in all honesty I felt fine through the whole run. Would have been nicer with gortex shoes / trainers to keep toes warmer but they were ok in the end.

The key is layering your body as much as possible and having options to take things off when needed. Obviously pacing is important too but as this was a steady paced run and not long (35mins), everything was perfect for me on the day.

Before going for your run check local weather conditions and then think about the clothes you will need. Also think about the run and route you will take. How long… how hard… when it's really cold (0c/30f or colder), it's best to keep runs on the steadier side and do your speed work inside on treadmill as you really don't want to be sweating lot's when it's freezing as the chances of hypothermia are increased.

Link to my run:

So training need not be limited to indoors when it's snowing or windy in very cold temperatures. Just layer up, think about your session, and mentally create an adventure in your head, as so many runners would not be so keen to get out in these tough conditions and elements!

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