Running in the Cold

A majority of my readers are most likely from California, and I’m sure you’ve felt how cold it has been the last several weeks.

A quick query reveals the temperature right now:

Now those of you in snowy regions of the world are most likely going to laugh at this, but this is freezing and cold. I can no longer wear my flip-flops and shorts, and have to wear a jacket. But hey, at least it’s sunny!

Until very recently, my running clothing only consisted of:

-Athletic shorts
-Cotton Socks
-My running shoes (Brooks Addiction 9)
-Some cotton short sleeve T-shirt I don’t wear normally (an old Woot!, Zynga, or whatever shirt)

One chilly morning back in December, I stumbled out of bed and began my morning 10 mile run, only to notice one thing completely different. I couldn’t feel my hands! The entire run I was rubbing my hands together, making sure I could still feel all 10 of my fingers and hope to God I wouldn’t lose an arm or something because I stupidly decided to run outdoors in my (now) summer running gear.

The temperature at the time? 29 degrees in the sun. I can’t fathom what it was in the shade.

It was time to get something new.

So, the last couple of weeks I shopped around and looked for my new running gear, one that wouldn’t leave me frozen.

Now, when the temperature falls below 50 degrees or so, I now carry the following:

Running Gloves: Immediately after I ran that one cold December morning I went online and bought running gloves. Before, I thought they were the most ridiculous things ever, but now I have seen the light and purchased one of these. These gloves make sure the blood keeps flowing in your hands, and takes most of the wind chill so your hands don’t get the full effect. My gloves also can control my phone’s touchscreen without having to take them off, which is an added bonus.

Running Compression Tights: Laugh all you want, but wearing leggings (or tights) keeps my leg muscles nice and warm, making them optimal while running. Wearing any form of compression tights and shorts also prevents chafing and moisture from building up in my shorts, making running much more comfortable and enjoyable in the rain and sub 40 degree weather. I wear my normal shorts over these tights.

– Long Sleeve Technical Tees: I didn’t do any shopping for this one, since nearly every single race I have participated in the past and in the future will provide one of these. Unlike a cotton shirt, these do not retain moisture, which is a godsend for rainy runs. Without sweat and moisture clinging onto your body, the torso can stay warm and those muscles can be at their optimal performance when running. They also prevent nipple chafing (THIS IS A REAL ISSUE), as illustrated by Andy Bernard in The OfficeAlso, I have noticed that running in these shirts just makes you look incredibly pro, and I have no problems with that.

I’m in the process of looking for a proper headband, since my ears are the only thing left that are unguarded from the cold. Because I sweat what seems like gallons after each run, my hair is drenched and any beanie I wear would subsequently be drenched. I wouldn’t want to put any of my current cotton/wool beanies through that torture.

This should keep my prepared and warmed up for the upcoming half marathon races, since they’re all in the crack of dawn in cold areas (Phoenix, Pasadena, Dallas). I’m hoping the weather warms up soon. Stay warm everyone!

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