By the time I left for work this morning the temps were at 63deg and I was giddy! Unfortunately due to me sorta overdoing it yesterday on the physical activity scale, I was beat down this morning and just couldnt bring myself to run before work. I jokingly made a comment on Facebook that I should drive by Memorial Park just for the fun of it to see how many people I could spot with gloves on.
I would bet my last dollar that there was at least one person. Texans for the most part are warm weather fans (no matter how badly they bitch about the heat/humidity), and typically will complain even more about how cold it is as soon as it goes below 70deg.
Now I am generally cold all the time unless I am outside when its hot. And yes there are times in the Winter when I will complain about that too, however I would rather be freezing cold any day of the week as a runner than this crap we endure here every Summer. I simply loathe the Summers here for that reason alone.
I still shake my head at the folks that wear capris, full shirts, long sleeves, whatever, if the temps are warm. And by warm I mean over 70deg. I realize that a lot of that is due to the self esteem issues and just not feeling comfortable with the exposure of whatever body type, but trust me you are more aware of it than anyone else around you is. As much of an issue that I have when it comes to my own body image, that is just one thing I cannot do: Wear clothing while running in any amount of heat. It just boggles my mind how anyone does it.
Anyway, all this brings me to what I wanted to write about today, because a lot of boards/forums that I read I see countless people asking about how to dress for cold weather running/races.
And to be honest its very subjective because just like every person handles the heat differently, so goes it with the cold.
With me, generally it looks something like this:
- 65deg and up = shorts and a jog bra sorta of top. Sometimes I might wear a singlet but its rare. And it won't be because its cold, its because I feel like something different and I know I won't self combust due to heat.
- 55deg to 65 deg = shorts and a short sleeve shirt, but typically if its 60 I am still going with a jog bra top and a singlet.
- 40deg to 55deg = I am probably still going to be wearing shorts unless its windy, then I might wear capris just so my thighs don't get that numbing thing going on that the wind typically will do to me. If I am running a marathon at that temp (40-45) no way in hell am I wearing capris. Unless its brutal wind and the temp isnt supposed to rise much. I will have on a short sleeve shirt if its a long distance (more than 10-13 miles) but if a short distance I might wear long sleeves. I will typically start with gloves on but it won't last long as my hands heat up very quickly. If its windy I will have earband on as well.
- < 40 but > than 30 = I am probably going to wear capris. I have been known to wear shorts at 40deg, but its for really long distance training run. If its in the 30's, I will be wearing capri's, possibly full length pants depending on distance and I will have a long sleeve on. Possibly 2 (short sleeve under), and will shed a layer if I get too warm and/or if the temps rise. There will be gloves, there will be earband.
- < 30 = If I can remember correctly I have only had to run 5 or so times when the temps were below freezing. I definitely wore pants. I definitely wore long sleeves and I definitely had more than one shirt on. I will typically have 2 pairs of thin socks on as well. There will definitely be gloves and earband.
- I remember the weekend before Houston Marathon 2010, we had 8 miles to do and when Amber, Megan and I started it was 24deg or so and there was ice on the ground. We had decided to start at 8am and do 8 miles on the cloverleaf. My feet, even with 2 pairs of socks on, were like ice blocks and I barely could feel them. I had 3 shirts on, a pair of pants, glove liners and gloves and of course an earband. It was miserable. :O) And of course by the time the marathon rolled around 8 days later, it was warm again and it sucked. :O)
Here is what I typically suggest to anyone who asks:
- Dress for 15-20 degrees Warmer: Dressing for 15-20 degrees warmer than it is will allow foryour body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat. You should feel chilled when you walk out the door. If you are toasty warm, remove a layer. Less is more. Keep in mind though, this does not apply to any mileage under 8 or so miles. If you are just doing a short 3 miler, its gonna be pretty much the same as when you start. Your body isn't going to heat up that much in such a short period of time.
What advice do you have? Do you hate running in the cold? What is your typical attire on just an average day where you live (in the Winter)? Are you too self concious to go the bare minimum when its a bazillion degrees outside?