By Joyce Law
If you’ve set your sights on tackling some big races in the spring, you might be wondering how you can possibly run and train in this winter weather. Last year, I ran through my first winter and turns out it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I loved winter running so much that I now prefer winter running over
summer running! Other than being slightly cold for the first couple of minutes of the run, the rest of the run is comfortable as long as you are wearing the right clothing. As my coach likes to say: There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. So here’s what I’ve learned about winter running and how to dress for success:
- If you run throughout the fall and into winter, your body (and mind) adjusts to the gradual drop in temperature. If you are just starting to run now, don’t worry, your body will still adjust unless you live in a bubble and never go outside.
- Contrary to popular belief, your lungs won’t freeze when you breath in the cold winter air. ?
- In general, your upper body needs more layers than your lower body. I guess it’s cuz your legs don’t lose that much body heat.
- You need to have three upper body layers: base layer, mid-layer, and a windbreaker layer. The number and type of layers also depend on the conditions.
- Depending on the temperature, you need something to cover your hands, ears, neck, and nose. This means you will need gloves, headbands/toques/ear muffs/ buffs/balaclavas.
- If it’s slushy or rainy, you need waterproof shoes. Running in cold wet feet is the worst!
- For snowy or icy conditions, trail running shoes have better grip but they also wear out faster if the majority of your running is going to be on road.
- 10C+: T-shirt and shorts
- 5 to 10C: T-shirt and pants
- 0 to 5C: long-sleeve shirt, pants, and gloves
- -5 to 0C: short or long-sleeve base layer, long sleeve mid-layer, pants, gloves, and something to cover your ears like a headband, buff, or earmuffs
- -15 to -5C: all of the above + a jacket or windbreaker layer on top + toque
- -25 to -15C: all of the above + another pair of pants with thicker gloves + balaclava
- Below -25C: all of the above but with thicker layers
- Below -35C: T-shirt and shorts to run indoors! ?