Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Reasons to Love Winter Runs
I just got back from a run outside. For the record, Environment Canada says it’s currently -22 degrees Celcius (-7 F). Luckily, there’s not much wind, so wind chill wasn’t really a factor tonight. We got a bit of a storm yesterday and there’s fresh snow on the ground, but not everyone has got around to cleaning their sidewalks. (Actually, I’m not sure that some of the sidewalks along parks and the sides of people’s houses will be cleaned all winter.)
Here’s what I looked like when I got back after my 26 minute run:
Now, you may be wondering why the heck I went out for a run when I could have stayed warm and dry while not triggering my cold-induced asthma by running inside on my treadmill. Here’s why:
1) I hate the treadmill (“dreadmill”) generally, and ours in particular, since it’s sort of getting old. The buttons are hard to press, one of the wheels that support the deck at the back keeps falling off, and it’s down in our unfinished basement – not a very pleasant environment.
2) Running through snow is kind of fun. It kind of makes me feel like a kid.
3) When it’s cold out, I get to feel hard core. *two thumbs up*
4) The snow acts as an unstable surface – sort of like running in sand – so it makes for a great workout and helps build stabilizer strength.
5) There’s something a little bit magical about being outside at night when there’s fresh snow. Even better is a calm night with light snow – the air sparkles.
6) By running across alternating sections of cleared sidewalk and ankle-deep snow, I get an automatic interval workout.
7) A hot bath after my run feels even better than usual.
I wasn’t quite sure what to wear out tonight because I’m a first-time winter runner, but I figured layers were the smart thing to do. Up top, I piled on a tank, an ancient long-sleeved technical T, my favourite zip-up fleece, and a shell. On my bottom half, I wore some running tights underneath a pair of 3/4 length tights, plus some Lululemon legwarmers. A Windbloc fleece toque, neck warmer, and thin mitts rounded out the outfit. It was pretty much the perfect amount of clothing. My feet were kind of cold for the first half of my run, but they were good by the end. If I decide to keep on running outside, though, I’ll have to consider buying some different shoes.
It was a good run. I wore my Garmin, but didn’t look at it at all during my run. I ran by feel rather than focusing on pace.
When I got home, I checked my stats. My pace was slow, but my heart rate was up there. To be expected with the snow, what with the lack of traction.
If you decide to go out for a winter run, you should be aware that there are risks associated with running when it’s cold out. Check out this Runner’s World article for some safety tips. (Tips that I should follow a little more closely myself, I think – haha!)
Enjoy your weekend, and do something that makes you happy!