Many serious runners say it’s never too cold to run outside. Experts agree that you can ward off hypothermia and frostbite by covering skin with apparel that wicks moisture and repels rain and snow, and by maintaining a steady pace throughout a run. In normal conditions, keeping your body temperature up, in this way your body can cope with most cold weather extremes if you’re “Prepared for it!” It’s tough to be as enthusiastic about running outdoors when the mercury drops below zero, 30-mile-per-hour winds hurl ice pellets into your face, or a sudden thaw forces you to play hopscotch around ankle-deep puddles. But none of these are really game changers, right?
If you’re moving, your body is generating heat, you’re actually warming up your core and in turn your muscles are expanding and exerting more energy, which in-turn generates more heat. It’s a constant process. For me, it’s all about finding my zone. I keep moving at a constant pace to try to find that perfect place where I am warm but not overheating. My nose is running faster than I am in this cold weather. Its just something you have to deal with and everyone does it the best way they can. Me, it may not signify as being elegant, but nothing works better than just blowing into a handy terrycloth dishtowel that I keep tucked into my outside belt. I pull my scarf back up over my mouth and nose to protect myself from the sharp wind. I once again check to make sure that my jacket is zipped to the very top and tighten my hood even more for ultimate protection. After a few miles, I know I need to keep hydrated, so I reach for my Camelbak Chute Vacuum Insulated Bottle In order to not only get some liquid into my body, but it’s “Warm” liquid of my choice. There is nothing like running out in the cold and feeling the cold but then taking a drink of something that’s nice and hot to help you thaw out. Or at least give you the feeling of being thawed out. And this Camelbak Insulated bottle does the trick. I know that my drinks will stay hot to warm for over 6 hours. But on days like this 2-3 hours is about the max I’m going to do when the temperature is hovering around 5 degrees with a stiff cross wind blowing. And instead of just having hot water to sip on. I want to boost my metabolism by ingesting some energy producing electrolytes back into my body. Since with it being cold outside, your body is using up its store of electrolytes and they need to be replenished. For me, I take advantage of the my sponsor’s products and keep a supply of GU Energy Labs Hydration Tablets handy. It’s a great aletenative to just sipping on some warm or cold (your preference) liquid. These “Electrolyte” Tablets are made with xylitol to help reduce gastrointestinal distress, while replacing the sodium you lose as your running down your path of choice. And if I’m feeling some hunger twinges, I know it better to snack on something that again will help me to keep my body’s nutritional needs balanced so I pop a few Jelly Belly Energy Sport Beans And no, they are not just a fancy jellybean. They formulated with carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins B and C. They help to replenish that lost energy and provide just that little extra boost to help me to complete my run, without feeling drained when I walk through my door.
So there you have it. Too Cold to run? Well, ultimately, that’s going to depend on you. We said it before and it’s worth saying again. “Common Sense”, lacking it or having it, will go a long way in helping you to decide if it makes sense to walk out that door when Mother Nature may just have something to say about it.