Since I’m a streak joggler (haven’t missed a day of outdoor joggling since November 18, 2008) I have to get my workout in no matter the weather. I’ve joggled in rain and snow. I’ve joggled on windy days and hot days. I’ve even joggled on super hot days like the 2007 Chicago Marathon. But today’s workout was by far the most extreme weather that I’ve joggled in. When I left the house, the temperature was -15 F here in Chicago.
What do you wear?
There are a few important things to consider when preparing yourself for an outdoor joggle in sub-zero temperatures. Perhaps most important is picking the right clothes. If you’re going to spend any time outside on a day like today, you absolutely need to be dressed properly. Pay particular attention to your hands and feet. These get coldest the fastest and your body isn’t designed to warm them up quickly. This is what I wore for my workout.
- 3 pairs of socks
- Running shoes
- 2 pairs of nylon pants
- 1 pair of tights
- Speedo underwear
- 1 Underarmor tight fitting long sleeved shirt
- 2 long sleeve running shirts
- 1 neon running coat
- 2 headbands
- 1 knit hat
- 3 pairs of gloves
You can see my outfit in the picture. I have to say even after a 17 minute, 1.75 mile run, I felt warm enough. The only parts that got super cold were my fingers. In fact, they got so numb I started to worry about frostbite. I couldn’t stop juggling though so to keep them warmer I flexed my fingers while the Gballz were in the air.
A chilly workout
I went joggling at 11 am figuring this would be when the weather would be best. The sun was bright and high in the sky and the wind was not blowing too hard. However, despite my precautions I immediately felt cold. It started down my back, and then I noticed it on my nose & cheeks. I’m used to this so it didn’t bother me too much. At that point, I still considered doing a 3 mile run. Going less than 3 miles usually doesn’t feel like a proper workout.
The first moment I started to get concerned was when my lungs started to hurt. I had read earlier in the day that one of the things to watch for was breathing too much cold air. To combat this I put the baclava in my mouth and breathed through it. That helped warm up the air before it entered my lungs and felt better. But it didn’t feel good.
Running was made more difficult by the fact that there is so much snow on the ground. While most people had shoveled their walks there were long stretches of high snow and every step on the path had light layer of snow. I slipped a lot. It also made my run much slower than in warmer, less snowy weather.
Around the 1 mile mark I decided to head back. I was concerned about the way my lungs felt, icicles had formed on my eye lashes, and my fingers started to go numb. A couple of weeks ago my fingers went numb like this and they stayed numb for weeks. They also hurt like hell when they warmed up.
When I got home, my wife was nice enough to open the door for me. My hands were so numb I couldn’t use my keys. Completing the 1.75 mile run in these conditions was satisfying and I’m glad I did it. However, I’ll be happy when it gets warmer. This cold weather running sucks!