i have been running in the harsh new england winters for a few years and have developed many survival techniques along the way. these techniques have become second nature to me, so i often forget that they are not always obvious to new runners. as i think of them, i’ll share them on here just in case some readers might benefit from my experiences.
sunday’s run was the first brutally cold, windy run of the season. i ran a 16 mile loop than ended in a -1* windchill. my last two miles were incredibly demoralizing, so much that i was literally yelling into the wind. the wind was blowing around 15 mph in my face and i added another 8 mph with my speed for what i call “an effective windspeed” of 23 mph. miserable.
knowing that i was going to be running into a stiff wind for most of my run, i took a few precautions to stay warm:
1) face protection. i don’t like face masks because my breath causes the mask to ice up and block my breathing. instead, i apply a thin layer of vaseline on my face to keep my face from chapping and my nose from bleeding.
2) overdress. i tend to overdress in winter to make sure i’m protected if the wind picks up and the sun goes behind a cloud. if you’re wearing synthetic clothes, it’s ok to sweat because the clothing will continue to keep you warm regardless of sweating. it’s better to be wet and warm than cold and underdressed.
3) duct tape. it really does fix everything. one of my biggest pet peeve is the porous fabric on the top of running shoes. shoe companies designed the shoes to be well ventilated in warm temperatures, like built-in air conditioning for the toes. this is great in the summer and helps mitigate blisters, but it’s miserable in the winter as the icy wind blows into your shoes. on windy, cold days, i apply duct tape to the top of my shoes to block the wind.
so imagine a runner with a fluorescent yellow jacket, vaseline slathered all over her face, mis-matched wool mittens, and duct tape on her shoes.
yep, winter running is a fashionable sport.