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For the past several months I have been fighting the lazyness to run. I tried a lot of things to keep me running. From buying new shoes, new gadgets to registering on race events . Yes, I have been successful in several ways, but in most cases, I failed terribly. The best motivation that I could remember is the thrill of doing something I have not done before. This is also one of the things I consider when trying to join events here.
Running on different weather condition is a challenge for me. The Philippine weather is notorius to heat and burning sun, thus, running when the sun is up will always be a heat training. Up here in the Massachussets, you can have variations depending on the season. About a year ago, I tried doing a 21K run while the heat wave is all over the area. It was an exhausting , yet, satisfying experience. This year, I tried doing another new for me, running below 0 degrees celcius ( 32 degrees fahrenheit).
I have always been curious on what it would be like running on cold weather. Having read some cold running tips on magazines and listened to a lot of advices from podcasts, I was ready to to try it out. But before we go all out , here are some things we may need to think about. Things I have thought of before speeding my way down the road:
- Do Not Overdress. One fine day last fall, we tried to run around Boston , near the Charles River. The temperature was in the low-40s when we left early morning. Being too cautious about the cold, I wore something that could keep me hot during that time, not considering that temperature will rise. That was a bad move. The moment we arrive in Boston, I could see runners dressed much lesser that what I am wearing. As we went through our planned route, the sun started to shine and my attire became more uncomfortable and unbearable. As a rule, always consider that as you run, your body heats up. Dress like its 20 degrees warmer than it is. If you think the wind will be nasty , dont forget wear something to cover a part of your face and your neck. Believe me, when the wind hits you, it will hurt. Depending on how cold it is, a running gloves helps a lot.
- Hydration. The cold weather does not prevent your body from being dehydrated. If you are going for a long run, it is always advisable to bring your water.
- Warm Up. When moving from a heated room to the cold outside, it is best if you start warming up while you are inside. Your muscles perform better if not started from a very cold state.
- Gear Up. Take note that days are shorter during the winter season. If you are starting too early or starting late, make sure you have the right gears to be seen in the dark. A flasher, head lamp and reflectorized attire will surely help. I did an after office run before during the fall, a 6 miler in a dark road with cars zooming pass you at 35 miles per hour. I had a flasher and a reflectorized shirt, but I felt the need of a head lamp especially if you ran just beside the road and against the traffic. It was fun but scary and I told myself not to do it again without a head lamp.
- Be Careful Out There. The running condition out there is riskier than during the summer. Roads may be narrower because of snow accumulations on the sides. The snow , especially the black ice, can be very very very slippery. If you can avoid them, do so. If you can wear shoes with better traction, the safer.
- Have Fun. Most importantly, have fun. Remember , you are going out to enjoy running. The weather can be uncomfortable but its a new experience. Just enjoy each stride.
So after a brief warm up and lots of thinking , I went out for an 8K run. The temperature was at the low-20s when I started and dropped to the teens when I ended. The run was great, I enjoyed the snowy scenes and the cold breeze from the wind ( which became nasty near the end ). I think with proper preparation , we can still train during winter season. Except for extreme conditions like a winter storm or a blizzard, running can still be safe. The only problem is getting the drive to do it. Winter is lonely, winter is lazy, winter is the time when watching TV and eating is at its best. If you can overcome these,I salute you! I have a hard time fighting it..
For more information on running during winter, you can visit the following sites:
And before we go out and run again, I notice this article is too late. Spring is just around the corner. Happy running!