Today, I went for an 8 mile joggle from my place to the lake and back. By itself, this isn’t terribly significant but this is Chicago in December. The temperature outside was 10 F with a wind chill that brought it well below zero. This was the coldest joggling of the year. Of course, cold doesn’t mean you can’t go running. If you do here are 6 tips for running in the cold.
1. Bundle up. No kidding! When going out be sure to wear a couple of layers. I start with an Under Armour turtleneck and leggings . Over that I wear a long sleeve dri-fit running shirt and a pair of wind pants. Then I put on running jacket. For the extremeties, a pair of gloves and cotton socks. Finally, a thick headband or wool cap to cover my ears and a neck gaiter (balaclava) to keep my neck warm. Note: juggling with gloves on is slightly more challenging so you should practice a little wearing gloves before joggling outside.
2. Watch out for ice. Running in the winter usually means there is some snow and ice on the ground. You have to pay close attention to what’s in your path. You can run on ice but you have to land flat-footed and watch every step. Slipping can certainly cause you to drop the juggling bags.
3. Don’t use your best pair of shoes. The winter weather can really damage your shoes. The cold makes the rubber more suceptible to wear, the salt weakens the molecular structure and the water is also bad. That’s why I have a pair of running shoes that I specifically use when I’m going for a sloppy winter run. You don’t want to ruin your good racing shoes for one run do you? You might also consider having some winter joggling bags. The gloves may lead to more drops which could ruin your slick, new Gballz bags.
4. Don’t worry about your pace. When you are running know that this won’t be your fastest workout of the year. Forget about your pace. Pay attention to your body and try to remain comfortable. You will be slower than usual. That’s just how it goes.
5. Drink something warm when you’re done. Some people say that drinking something warm will help increase your internal body temperature. This sounds made up to me. However, drinking something warm when I finish a cold run does make me feel better so you should do it too. If that doesn’t work, try a cold, Diet Dr. Pepper. I love Dr. Pepper!
6. Take a warm shower when you finish. Nothing takes the edge off wind burn and chills like a nice warm shower. Start with cool water and slowly heat it up. It’ll be easier on your skin.
Joggling in the cold can be done safely and even comfortably once you get used to it. And you can’t beat the feeling of satisfaction you get afterwards because you beat Mother Nature.