First things first... Did you hear about the Great White shark spotted off the coast of Wrightsville Beach? So glad I did not hear about this before my race last month. I guess it is good that the current was strong for B2B, it minimized my chances of getting eaten alive!
and on to cold weather running tips...
If you live north of Georgia, feel free to laugh at my suggestions... Admittedly, it doesn't get all that cold here :)
Even though I live in the Georgia, it is inevitable that at some point we will get a blast of winter weather. I don’t know about you but the first blast of sub 40 degree temperatures always throws me for a loop each year. From one year to the next, I forget how to dress for running outdoors. Running in the heat is easy. I throw on shorts, a tank top, some sunscreen and hope I don’t melt into a puddle by the time I am done. Running in cold weather is a whole different story. Do I layer up and how many layers do I need?
Here are a few tips I have for dressing for the weather:
1. Check out Runner's World "what to wear". You plug in the temperature, the general weather conditions (i.e. sunny/rainy/cloudy) and whether you generally like to be cooler or warmer when you run. Based on your input, the site tells you what to wear. Last week, it was mostly sunny and 50 degrees for my race at Chateau Elan. I prefer to be cooler when I run so the site suggested I wear shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I was a little chilly waiting around at the start but once I started running, I was comfortable. Perfect!
2. Chemical Hand Warmers. The ones I use are called Hot Hands and I have seen them everywhere from Sporting Goods stores to places like Walgreens and Wal Mart. On those days where I know I might be waiting around in the cold for a race start I hold them in my hands or, if I am wearing gloves, I pop them inside my gloves for a little extra warmth. You can toss the hand warmers at the first water stop once you have warmed up a bit.
3. Save your mylar blankets that you receive at the end of your races. You can use them for warmth before your next race.
4. Wear some “throwaway clothes” at the start of the race. The larger races usually collect the clothing and donate the items to a local charity. It will help you stay warm and goes to a good cause. Right before the race starts, ditch the clothes along the side of the road. Volunteers pick up the clothes after all the runners have gone through the start line.
If you know how to dress, running in the winter doesn't mean you have to stay indoors on the treadmill. Now I just need to figure out how to dress for biking :)