I am a weather wimp. I don’t like it too hot. I don’t like it too cold. When I signed up to do a half-marathon in January, I put a lot of thought into the weather. I am a hot runner. And I don’t mean sexy, hot. I mean I sweat… like a man. So I decided to do my race in January, in the south. This means it will be probably around 40-50 degrees and that is perfect for me. Now of course there could be some fluke cold front and I could be dealing with 30 degrees, but not likely less than that.
What I didn’t consider was my training.
I live in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s cold here. Like snowing, windy, wet cold. I had my first “long” run of my training program on Sunday. It was about 20 degrees and snowing sideways. I kept waiting for the sun to come out or for the snow to stop, but it didn’t. I have a treadmill, but the thought of running 7 miles on a treadmill sounds like torture to me. (I had never run more than 6.2 miles before- so seven was the number where I start to consider runs to be “long”) I love having my treadmill and I think it is great for shorter runs, like 3-4 miles. I was complaining to my husband about this problem and he had the most brilliant idea! He suggested that I run the first 3-4 miles on the treadmill and then after I warmed up, I could finish the run outside. I have no idea why that never occurred to me, but it was the perfect plan. I brought all of my gear down to the basement with me so I could try to do a semi-quick transition from the warm basement to the arctic winds outside (okay, yes I may be exaggerating a little). The only flaw in my plan was the sweat factor I mentioned earlier. My core body temperature was nice and warm and it didn’t really feel cold outside at all, except that I was wet. Wet and cold do not mix. My ass felt like a block of ice by the time I was done. But over-all it was great. Nothing that a long hot shower couldn’t fix. I did 3 miles in the warm basement and the other 4 outside. I was a little sore afterward and I know I need to get some warmer socks and pants to prevent ass-freeze (yes that is a technical term) on future runs.
How do you handle training in the winter?