what to wear at -30C and still run

So yeah, it’s cold, really cold, pretty cold…stupid cold!

So what?…..

You’re training, you’re in training….in-door track, treadmill…NOT AN OPTION.

I’ve run on both and never enjoyed either, so never again…ever…if you can handle boredom, sure, but for me, I’d rather watch a blank wall…..

So you bundle up; enough to keep warm and not freeze, but not so much so you can’t move!

The secret is to always remember; as soon as you start to move, you’ll warm up.

Also know that those parts of you that are vital will get warm fluid first, as everything you have rushes in to protect those vital organs……those capitaries heading out to your fingers, your face, your toes, will remain chilled for a little longer…..so expect that, dress for that, knowing that eventually you may have to strip down.

At -30C (which is really really close to -30F) the main fear is frost bite...sure, all exposed skin will freeze in minutes, if not seconds…..but, you are moving – you’re a runner – you will warm up that exposed skin at some point…..

That little white spot…...FROST BITE!….apparently…….I’ve had that before, and if you’ve had it once, it will return…so the experts say……I think it makes me look bad ass?


What do I wear………not as much as you would think….

so this is it…….except for the Hudson Bay Blanket….( which would be oh so warm if you could wrap yourself and run?)

Those socks look kind of like nothing, right?…They’re made by Brooks; I think I got them for free at a store contest….

I just need them to not get and stay wet, and cover up any skin that might otherwise become exposed…

My feet never seem to get especially cold: I just use my everyday shoes (the Brooks Adrenaline mostly). I know for some the combination of mesh and windchill causes problems, but for me, no issues…..everyone is different….so just cover up that mash, go for something that has GORTEX to keep you warm and dry…

My legs have never been a huge concern either……though as I’ve gotten older, I find I just make more of an effort to be comfortable, rather than just enjoying the chill and tuffng it out….

So today, a base layer…

Just a base layer I picked up from the Running Room forever ago, just to retain some heat…. also some protective wind briefs; ’cause, yeah if that body certain part freezes guys, well, pain like you wouldn’t believe, and even worse when that body part begins to thaw!…all from that Running Room stash….

The tights, from Ron Hill are to provide protection from wind chill (google Ron Hill, he’s a pretty interesting character in running lore, amongst other things, having run for every day for 52 years and 39 days, 1964 to 2017, EVERY DAY!) ……these arn’t the best, not especially special, winter specific, but with the layers beneath, the combo works well for me……I do have others that have more of a shield over the thighs, and more winter wind chill specific, but most days I don’t need that, and those tights are a little more constricting..so…I live for minimum!

Upper body, 3 layers…here is what I wear to wick, basically, and to add some warmth

From the Vancouver Running Co. …(yes, I have put on a lot of weight…IT’S CHRISTMAS!) This layer wicks, no sweat build up, and some warmth…….a little skin tight, but it does trap heat…and it’s all I need..

On top…..CRAFT……it’s an older item, but it’s there for the warmth, it doesn’t capture sweat then get soaked and freeze.

The jacket….you see it on top in pretty much every winter selfie I take…..New Balance

It’s perfect….not too heavy, maybe a little too warm on days that arn’t -30C,……..

the real secret is that BUFF……sometimes it does cover my face, but mostly I just stuff it under the top of the jacket to keep my body heat inside, the cold out

Top off the head….

The first concern is that heat escapes out the top of your head……in summer that’s kind of a concern for other reasons….. for winter…..I choose a tuque, today I had a balaclava as well, to help with the cold…….

Then a pair of Brooks gloves, I slip hand warmers into those gloves, something called Little Hotties

and with all of that I’m good to go…….

Today was okay…I know with the ice and snow, it’s slippery (it’s like trying to run on sand, without a beach) speed won’t be the concern; the pace will be slow, the heart rate may not be…..just working on strength, endurance……and hopefully the work will pay off in the spring…

A good week….the march towards 2022 continues…I’ve managed 6 out of 7 days in a row, 8 out of 9 with one rest day….I feel the need for a rest day soon, gotta recover.

The commitment is as close as I could get to 1000K for the year, and almost every day until January 1st!…….I need to do at least 5K on that January 1st, cause, well, turning 63 (BOOOOOOOO) !

Running every day seriously I know isn’t healthy, but sometimes, that challenge helps bump up and inspire………cross training, rest and recovery, yoga, strength, that whole package is important…will work that into the weekly training schedule, starting next MONDAY…….but for this week, run, will try and stay warm….and will make an effort to stay away from that desert tray!

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