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Snow My Gosh!

I’ve been getting a few questions about running in the cold. My motto? Don’t do it! But that is a bad motto. So to all my little snowbirds out on the East Coast. I’ve been watching the news as I get ready every morning and it seems you may have a running dilemma.  I hear you guys are all stuck inside while crazy white stuff falls from the sky. Yup, that’s the reason I reside in an area where it doesn’t snow. So perhaps in the words of my friend Robyn, you are living in a winter run-derland? Thankfully Robyn stepped up and wanted to write a guest post about running in the snow and cold temps. This is a plus for all you snowbirds because I know NOTHING about the snow and ‘cold’ temps. For me, cold is 40 degrees. So that’s why when I ran CIM in December in Sacramento and the starting line degrees of 27 near killed me. Call me a pansy baby (which could be true and I will accept that) but I live here in my sunny little spot for a reason! So here’s Robyn’s advice if you are snowed in and hate the dreadmill like myself!
I’m writing to you all from snow-filled New York City. Although I much prefer to run outdoors, I used to think that winter temps meant I was banned to the treadmill. But once I signed up for my very first half marathon (April 3), I soon realized that I’d have to brave the cold. Turns out it’s not all that bad and guess what, when the dust, er, snow settles this week, I’ll be out there to continue with my training. So here are a few tips I’d like to share with you all so that you too can be an outdoorsy runner in the winter type of gal (or guy! Chic guys are allowed! ha ha):
– Layering is key. The brand of clothes I wear is all over the place but generally I always wear my Under Armour running tights. I wear Under Armour booty shorts! I’m half way there! If it’s around 40 degrees I’ll wear them alone, 20’s or 30’s I’ll throw on a pair of running shorts over to keep my booty more toasty, and then if it’s the “it can’t really feel like 1 degree out, according to,” then I wear my Nike pants over the tights. I also wear a tank under my long-sleeve running shirt (but if I wear this Nike half-zip then I don’t need to) and gloves that I usually take off around mile 3. WOW. I would rather die then wearing all those clothes, but wearing shorts over tights is a good idea. My butt always gets really cold too and now I know why girls do that!

-Cover your ears. If your ears are cold then your whole body will stay cold. I wear a fleece hat with a perfect little hole in the back for my ponytail (so I don’t look like a complete boy) and if it’s a little warmer out I’ll wear just a headband that goes over the ears. I wore North Face earwarmers for CIM and LOVED it. Without that I would have had major issues so I totally agree with Robyn!

-Break wind. Well, more like a wear a wind-breaker. Over my long-sleeve I wear my Columbia wind-breaker that’s light but still helps fight the frigid air. I can see this working out well because cold air cuts through your clothes like nothing I’ve ever experienced! Layer up to break the wind is for sure a key!
-Pack tissues. If it’s cold out you will find that snot runs faster out of your nose than you can say, “pass me a tissue” so I usually throw a few in my jacket pocket. Or you can be super classy like myself and just use your sleeve! Or blow your nose in your hands and wipe it on your back or shorts. So delicious, I know.

In all seriousness, while running mid-winter can be daunting, it can also be magical. When I do my long runs in Central Park, there’s a sense of camaraderie when you see the other hard-core crazies out there. And when I take a moment to look up and take it all in, it’s easy to feel like the city is your oyster. Well said my friend!

So get out there and even though it’s cold, your braver than me!


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  • Reply Madeline

    Tissues, what an idea! I am definitely guilty of the sleeve method. It gets a little funky.

    My problem is really motivation; I have a ton of outdoor cold gear, but just cannot convince myself that it’s a better idea to run outside in the snow and ice with PA drivers who already are a bit lackluster with road skills than to just go to the gym and use the treadmill. My hopes are pinned on getting into a grad school somewhere warm!

    February 16, 2010 at 7:19 am
  • Reply BostonRunner

    Great post! Running outside in the cold is pretty daunting for me. I’m getting better though. If you’re in the right mindset, it can actually be kind of fun!

    February 16, 2010 at 7:44 am
  • Reply Heather

    bbrr I am getting cold just thinking about it. I was crying after running the disney 1/2 in 23 degree weather and sleet and freezing rain. not cool. My motto is…run inside if its below 32. great post!

    February 16, 2010 at 8:03 am
  • Reply Amanda

    This is a great post! This blog has totally motivated me to start running and one day run a half marathon. I want to get started ASAP, but it’s soooo cold out! These tips are exactly what I need to get out there and start running!

    February 16, 2010 at 8:04 am
  • Reply I’m on Chic Runner! « Ramblings of a Wannabe Writer and Runner

    […] The Chic Runner. Danica was so awesome enough to include some of my tips for winter running here: Now why do I feel awful? Well I had a gluttonous weekend and now I’m feeling the […]

    February 16, 2010 at 8:07 am
  • Reply Robyn

    So excited to be featured today, thanks Danica!!

    February 16, 2010 at 8:11 am
  • Reply Jose

    I’m a fan of the snot rocket myself,just make sure to not hit any innocent bystanders ;)
    The CIM was ridiculous cold – even for us locals!

    February 16, 2010 at 8:32 am
  • Reply Jocelyn

    I HAAAATE the cold. I also live in NYC and i get bitter every time i have to face the cold :( I need to move to southern cali

    February 16, 2010 at 8:44 am
  • Reply Kheenan

    Living in Wisconsin you are bound to run in the cold. I use to not like it because where I lived the city didnt take care of sidewalks and those were always icy. So it was either run in the roads or run in the gym. Once I got bored running inside i tried running in the road and loved it. I stuck to the side roads to avoid getting smashed. As far as the snot goes i just farmer blow it out and wipe away the extras. I really am not concentrating how my snot looks while trying to run a half or full for that matter.

    February 16, 2010 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Thanks for the guest post!

    I am so over the cold and snow for this winter…

    February 16, 2010 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Jacklyn

    Robyn this is great! Thanks so much. I’m envious of Danica’s warm weather :) I love how you call it the dreadmill. I hate that rat wheel. I saw the best quote today and it ties in with my #1 cold weather running tip…Run with a buddy. “The expression ‘misery loves company’ is meant for winter running. As I’m lying in bed on dark, cold mornings, it’s a lot harder to talk myself out of getting up when I know I’m accountable to other people.”

    February 16, 2010 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Niki @ Niki's Neverending Adventure

    I hate the cold too and have been complaining about it for a couple months now! Lately, it’s been freezing so I’ve stayed inside with the treadmill. Honestly, the treadmill seems a lot more fun than freezing outside! At least I can catch up on my DVR!

    February 16, 2010 at 9:36 am
  • Reply sarah

    A great post for those of us who are getting pretty jealous of your warm, sunny days at this point!

    I have to admit, I scoff a bit at the whole shorts-over-tights thing. A thin pair of loose shorts does very little to provide additional warmth to the buttocks. A pair of spandex shorts UNDER tights makes a bit more sense to me (and in my opinion, looks less silly.)

    Now, if winter would just end already, we wouldn’t have to think about it anymore!

    February 16, 2010 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Dwayne

    Another bit of advice from the snowy Midwest: Don’t overdress. When you start out you should be a little on the cold side. (Don’t worry, you warm up plenty fast.) If you overdress, you are more likely to sweat and sweat is your enemy in the cold weather. If you sweat too much, your cold run can quickly become a miserable or even dangerous run.

    February 16, 2010 at 10:49 am
  • Reply David

    ha! the pink commentary was the best

    February 16, 2010 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Jaime

    I thought I had lost my mind running in this stuff. Glad to see I’m not the only one! I even ran last night in the “blowing snow” (as well as snow on the ground). Luckily I live near UK’s campus and they keep the sidewalk clear (unlike my neighbors).

    February 16, 2010 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Astro

    Awesome post – even hear in central Illinois with mild snow (compared to the east)it is hard to run. Cold is not too bad until wind chills hit the minus area. Then we tell the team to hit the gym or treadmills.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:57 am
  • Reply Beth B.

    Great post – i’m with you, this is why I live in SoCal (San Diego) – I can’t imagine getting motivated to get out there and run in the snow and other inclement weather. I don’t even like to do it when its 50-degrees outside. We are spoiled living here that’s for sure. Someone above commented that its important not to “overdress” and I have made that mistake too. You always warm up 15-20 degrees and that should be taken into consideration when dressing for a run.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm
  • Reply Erin

    Great post. I am always so scared to run in the cold, but this post almost gives me the confidence to do it!

    February 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Running in the cold is so hard for me. I actually convinced myself to not run today because Im so tired of being so cold. I cant get the motivation I need right now.

    February 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm
  • Reply Caitlin

    Nice tips! I especially love the last one – tissues (or your gloves, ha) are a must! I have read that some people just plug one nostril and then blow. Ladies and gentleman: the snot rocket. I’m in Chicago and with no gym membership, running outside is my only option. 7 degrees plus windchill is no fun. No amount of layering can prepare your lungs for that!!

    February 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  • Reply carpeviam

    I’m a “farmer blow” kind of girl myself. But, I’m always glad when my running partner brings tissues. ;)

    February 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply J

    She totally described most of my running for the past few months! I basically bundle up, make sure my ears are covered and then hit the road. I love running through the season and winter seems to be lasting a bit too long but it really is magical to run when its snowing!

    February 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Stuart

    Now if you just read her bolded titles this post could have been about so much more!

    February 17, 2010 at 6:33 am
  • Reply Jumper 2.0

    I would much rather run in the cold then the heat (heat as in greater than 85 lets say). For the very same reasons that you have posted; you can dress for it as it’s easy to get warm, not so easy to get cool.
    I’m not running a spring marathon this year, so it hasn’t been necessary for me to run too much in the cold, but last year I had multiple runs greater than 10 miles in sub zero (F) degree weather! It was awesome! (yes, I mean it)

    February 17, 2010 at 7:35 am
  • Reply Julie @ Wearing Mascara

    This is great advice! In a sick and weird way, I’ve come to ENJOY (what?!) outdoor running. It’s so rejuvenating and in a way, I’ll miss it come summer.

    While I don’t mind running in frigid temps (like a recent run in 11 degree weather), I do mind running on ice and snow. It’s dangerous if you’re not careful. Right now, cotton balls are basically falling from the sky. Since I don’t want to risk injury (and therefore not running my half marathon in May!) I’m going to resort to the dreadmill this afternoon. Ugh. I just want the snow GONE!


    February 17, 2010 at 9:22 am
  • Reply Newlyweds Next Door

    YAY! Robyn! Did you know that Robyn was my Sorority sister at USC and roommate for one semester! Small world!

    February 17, 2010 at 10:34 am
  • Reply Jumper 2.0

    Julie, Yaktrax Pro works awesome!

    February 17, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Tissues? Why else would they give us long sleeve tech shirts here in Southern California?

    February 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm
  • Reply eca

    I used to run in the cold all the time while in school, but now that I have to work it’s just too dark by the time I get home.

    But I love my running tights to stay warm! I usually wore an old long sleeve t-shirt as my outer layer so I could easily wipe my nose with my sleeve and not worry about ruining “nice” clothes.

    February 17, 2010 at 5:21 pm
  • Reply StephanieC

    Great post. I have only ever run in the cold, i like it and worry about running in the heat. not looking forward to it at all. I also like that i have pockets for my stuff when running in the cold. And Ive also a small addiction to running tights, so comfortable.

    February 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Great post! I swear by my UA cold running leggings. Plus a base layer (short sleeves for 35+ degree weather, long for colder) underneath a UA reversible warm weather/cold weather long sleeve top. Now if Delaware can learn how to properly plow the streets, running in the cold wouldn’t be so treacherous!

    February 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm
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