Yesterday in Toronto it snowed from early morning, well into the night. Big, fat, chunky snowflakes that were so beautiful yet intimidating. I have a confession to make. Well, I have two. 1) I didn’t write a blog last week because I was away in Ontario wine country for my birthday. 2) I HAVE NEVER RUN IN SNOW.
I guess the latter is not super surprising. After all, I JUST started running in July. A few weeks ago when I ran and there was a dusting of snow but I don’t count that because it didn’t stick to the ground. Now the snow is large and in charge and it looks like it’s here to stay.
I was enjoying my crisp fall runs so much I almost forgot that it gets COLD in Canada. Living in LA has made me soft when it comes to the weather. Even though I didn’t run through a major snow storm this week, it was the coldest running I have endured. How does one dress for such an occasion? My answer is: LAYERS.
- Wear a hat! or a headband. Something to cover your little ears. I made the mistake of going sans hat one morning and it felt like the wind and cold was punching me in the temples.
- Protect the neck! This is for when it’s extra cold. Some people might think this is too much but I’m a scarf gal through and through. A little fleece scarf never hurt anyone.
- Gloves! Not big ski gloves or the type you wear while snowshoeing (whatever type that is) but a sports glove? That’s a thing right? My hands ALWAYS tend to be cold. Until I run for about 10 minutes and the blood gets pumping. So I wear them for the first chunk and then jam them into my pockets.
- A longsleeve thermal (or two). You can buy thermals anywhere and for a decent price. I like wearing two. The bottom one wicks away sweat and the top one keeps me warm.
- A thin vest. Ya gotta keep that core warm! I’ve been wearing my moms super thin down vest. It’s a pain in the ass to wash (on account of the feathers getting all bunged up) but it’s a staple item for cold weather running.
- Thermal tights. I bought a pair of fleece lined tights and my thighs love me for it. I was prancing around in my regular leggings one cold day and by the end my thighs looked like honey baked hams that had been put on ice.
- Wind breaker. For those windy days! Also a good option if you don’t have a vest. Invest in a proper running windbreaker. I bought one when I was 16 for an outdoor ed 3 day bike trip and I still wear it. They last!
I’m sure you can find a million articles about “what to wear for cold weather running” but this is what has been working for me so far! I know that winter running shoes are a thing but I have yet to look into that. I might just upgrade to a thin, thermal, sweat wicking running sock first.
Other things to carry on you while running? A TISSUE. My nose LOVES to run in cold weather. I’m like a snot nosed kid on the playground and that is NOT a cute look these days given this lil’ pandemic that’s taken over the goddamn world. So tuck some tissues in your pockets. You should probably also carry a mask on you and have your ID too.
So how did my week of cold running go? It was fine! My first run on Tuesday (after a 4 day hiatus where I consumed a sinister amount of wine) was on a gloomy, windy day. Because it was SO miserable I ran much faster than I usually do averaging 5.41 per KM. For me, that’s fast! And I didn’t get a cramp which was a HUGE bonus.
My next run was on a crisp and sunny day and I had a runners stitch for the whole first half. Not fun. However, by the end I felt so much better that I decided to surpass my initial goal of 5k!
My 3rd run I was back in Toronto running my familiar High Park loop which was nice and my 4th and final run of the week was on…A TREADMILL. It was snowing SO hard yesterday and the place I’m staying in Toronto had a treadmill so I thought I’d give it a try. I had my Nike run app set to “outdoor” running so maybe that made a difference but that was one of the hardest 5k’s I’ve ever run. I felt like I was running WAY faster than when I do outside and I clocked one of my slowest runs in recent history. By the end I was drenched and my face was purple. Can someone explain this to me?! You can see how confused my app was by the squiggles on the map. Needless to say, I don’t love the treadmill and will be venturing out into the winter wonderland today!
Thank you so much for reading. I love that we’re all on this journey together. As I’ve said before, I’m not expert and I have been learning by trial and error. Like most things on the internet, take everything with a grain of salt and if in doubt, consult a professional! After I digest this banana I’m off to my first snowy run…wish me luck!
I’ve got the runs!